A/N: I disclaim everything; it all belongs to JK Rowling.
I am at it once again! Torturing poor Ron, Hermione, Harry, and Ginny through
my sadistic plans of love and fluff. Ah, they don’t mind. It’s not them
this time. Haha. Just read.
- Thanks to all of my faithful readers throughout
this entire HE/OPQ series. It’s been a fun run, and I appreciate all of your nice reviews.
- Thanks to Seldes Katne for beta-reading all of my
fics thus far. I have plenty more coming! No worries!
“But, but, Mum! Please! May
“I’ve said it before and
I’ll say it again, Benjamin Weasley. We are here to get you things for Hogwarts!”
a very perturbed mother barked one hot August day in Diagon Alley.
“Oh, come off it, Hermione.
Let the boy have some fun,” said the father of the overexcited redheaded boy.
He was looking on amusedly.
“I would expect you of
all people to act that way, Ronald Weasley,” she retorted. “You were just the
same. No, Ben, we are not here for that kind of stuff. You can get some of that
when you come home for the holidays.”
“MUM! I have to wait that
long to get candy?”
“Yes, your sister did and so
“But she gets to go
to Hogsmeade! She’s a fourth year this year. I’m only a first!”
“Benjamin Weasley, are you
giving your parents a hard time again?” said a new voice joining the
The group looked up and
welcomed the new faces. It was Harry, Ginny, and their nine-year-old daughter
Sara. Sara was happily bouncing from shop to shop with Ginny in tow, who was
heavily pregnant with their second child and trying her hardest to keep up.
“How’s Gin?” Ron asked,
looking over his friend’s shoulder. She didn’t appear to be in pain or be
having any difficulty. She loved spending time with her daughter, and nothing
was going to get in the way.
“She’s as good as she ever
was,” Harry said, looking over his shoulder. He was staring lovingly at his
wife and daughter. It was obvious to both Ron and Hermione that Harry had
finally gotten just what he’d wished for. A real family.
“I wonder how she does it,”
mused Hermione, watching Ginny. “All three times I was in that condition
I didn’t feel like moving around.”
“Don’t I know it,” Ron
grumbled, but received a ferocious look from his wife. He gripped her hand
tightly in his own and then kissed it in apology. It seemed to satisfy her. She
snuggled closer to him.
“Just think, Harry,”
Hermione said softly. “In two years, you get to do this with Sara. And then in
eleven years, you do it all over again.”
“Just think, Hermione,”
Harry repeated back to her. “You get to do this for seven more years, not
including Jeremiah,” he said, nodding toward their youngest. He was following
his older brother like a shadow.
Ron looked over his shoulder
and turned white. “They’re going to get into that display!” he cried, pulling
away from Hermione and running off to fetch his sons.
Just then, Ginny approached
with Sara by her side. “Hullo everyone,” she greeted breathlessly. “This little
one decided she wanted a Quidditch robe just like her daddy.”
“Yes! Yes I do!” came the
squeaky voice from their feet. She was yanking on Harry’s scarlet robes
excitedly. Harry knelt down, picked her up, and then turned to Ginny.
“Did I tell you that you
look beautiful today?”
“Once or twice over
breakfast, love,” she answered, smiling at her husband. He didn’t hesitate in
pressing a kiss to her lips.
“EW! Make Uncle Harry quit
being all mushy with Aunt Ginny!” Ben cried. He and Jeremiah were being led out
of the shop by the scruff of their neck. Ron wasn’t exactly pleased with their destructive
“Well, we just seem to be
missing one in our number,” Hermione said, looking around for her eldest.
Ron looked up and saw
Kaitlyn standing outside of Flourish and Blotts with an unnatural expression on
her face. She had definitely inherited the love of reading from her mother, and
it never ceased to amaze him. She could even scold her own father like
his wife could. But it was just as well. It was that much more endearing and
made him love her more.
“I’m over here,” she called,
not tearing her eyes away from the display.
The party walked over toward
the bookstore and Hermione wrapped her arms around her daughter’s shoulders.
She kissed her daughter’s head lovingly and whispered, “Would you like to go in
Kaitlyn smiled happily at
her mother, grasped her mother’s arms, and sighed. “Yes. I would love to go
They all entered the
bookstore, and Hermione whipped out two lists and a Quick Quill. She browsed
the shop with Kaitlyn, looking for the books they needed. Ron led Jeremiah and
Ben to a wall filled with Quidditch books while Harry tagged along happily.
Ginny took Sara over to the children’s section and sat down with her to read a
quick moving picture book.
“ ‘Standard Book of Spells,
Grade Four,’ ” Hermione read quietly to herself.
“Why do I need dress robes?”
Hermione looked back at the
list in her hands. She had apparently missed it in the hustle and bustle of
getting all of the children Flooed out of the house. “Oh! Dress robes, well,”
she said, turning dark red. She knew very well that Hogwarts wanted to hold
another Yule Ball that year merely for tradition. It brought Hermione back to
the Yule Ball she attended. A lazy grin suddenly graced her face.
“What’s funny, Mum?” Kaitlyn
inquired. She was intrigued. Her sparkling blue eyes dazzled her features, her
long, straight red hair dangling down her back. Hermione thought it far too
long, but was definitely grateful that she had inherited her father’s hair
instead of her mother’s.
“I was just remembering when
your father and I first started to really…” she stopped, realizing that she was
completely flushed now.
“What, Mum? Dad and you what?”
Kaitlyn prompted eagerly. She loved the chats she had with her mother. She
could sometimes talk to her like she was a friend instead of her mother.
“Well, we had a Ball my
fourth year,” Hermione began. “And your father and I, at the time, were only
“And with Uncle Harry,
“Right,” Hermione said.
“Well, we were both very confused about our feelings for each other, and I
didn’t realize how much I actually liked him until the ball came about.”
Kaitlyn nodded eagerly. “You see, he never really thought of me as a girl. I
was only a friend to him, nothing more. And then, the most amazing thing
happened. Viktor Krum asked me.”
“VIKTOR KRUM? Mum! Mum! He’s
a bloody legend!” Kaitlyn squealed.
“Watch your language,”
Hermione warned. She continued on. “Well, Viktor and I were just friends,
though I suspected he wanted to be more. Your father was not at all happy about
our going together, and made it quite clear that night.”
“No! What did he say?”
“Oh, just that I was
‘fraternizing with the enemy’ and that he ‘only wanted to go with me to get
secrets about Harry.’”
Kaitlyn gasped. “DAD said
THAT? I don’t believe it! Not… not my dad!”
“How could you ever doubt?”
Hermione said, snorting to herself.
“Because… I’ve seen the way
he treats you, Mum. The way he looks at you when he thinks no one is watching…
I can’t believe with that look in his eyes he could have ever said such
awful things to you.”
Hermione looked at her
daughter, tears filling her eyes. “He… he looks at me that way still?”
Kaitlyn nodded. “Oh yes,
Mum. I don’t know how you can miss it,” she said, sighing as she turned away.
“It makes me very excited.”
“For what, love?”
“You have a long time to
worry about that yet,” Hermione said, hugging her daughter and kissing the top
of her head.
“You and dad were sixteen,
right?” Kaitlyn sighed hopefully. “But when did you know that you were in love
Hermione sighed. “I guess I
always knew, I just didn’t want to accept it. Besides, what boys at your school
do you know?”
“Just the boys in
Gryffindor, and they’re all so immature,” she scoffed and Hermione laughed.
“You sound just like I did.
But Ron – er, your father – was the worst of them all. He turned out to be the
right person for me, and I really couldn’t be happier,” Hermione explained to
Kaitlyn. “I loved your father for a long time before we actually admitted it to
each other. You’ll find a man who does the same thing for you one day.”
There was a sudden commotion
in the front of the store, causing Kaitlyn and Hermione to look up from their
quiet, comfortable conversation and over at the front of the store. Hermione
could barely see the back of Ron’s head, but after seventeen years of marriage
and knowing him even longer than that, she knew that the way he was standing
was in a defiant fighting pose.
Hermione rushed up next to
her husband and saw exactly who he and Harry were glaring at.
It was Malfoy.
“Well, well, well,” came the
long, slow drawl from Malfoy’s mouth. He seemed to be enjoying the encounter
rather than detesting it as four of the occupants there were. Ron didn’t even
look down at Hermione when she approached. He pretended not to hear her when
she whispered, “Don’t do anything rash in front of your children.”
“Weasley… and Potter,”
he said the word with such hate and contempt that Kaitlyn was shocked into
silence. She stood behind her father, cowering against the man that was yelling
at her family. Who was he, and why did he hate them so?
“Malfoy,” her father
spoke in as much hate as he had. “What exactly are you doing here? Come
to find innocent people to pick off with your wand? Spend the little
amount of money that your father left you after he was… killed?” Ron dragged
out the word ‘little’ as long as possible.
Malfoy’s eyes faltered a bit
at the mention of his father being killed in the war against Voldemort, and
especially at the fact that his father had managed to squander the family
fortune before he died. It was a sore spot for him. He had always had plenty of
luxury, and suddenly having to penny pinch did not sit well with him.
Instead, he swept his hair
back arrogantly and retorted, “I am shopping, Weasley, and what are you
doing? Window-shopping? I can hardly see you buying anything here, what
with the economy so bad that they had to raise prices. Surely you can’t have
the money necessary to buy what is needed.”
Kaitlyn had never seen her
father turn that shade of red out of anything but embarrassment.
“Why would you be
shopping here, Malfoy?” came Harry’s voice, laced with venom. “I was under the
impression that you were too self-centered to take the time to learn how to
Malfoy’s pale face, if possible, whitened even more.
“My son happens to be attending Hogwarts, in his fourth year. It’s just bad
luck that we happened to see you in here, today of all days.”
“Son?” Ron spat. “Malfoy, you bastard! You
Malfoy said nothing, but stepped to the side to allow
his son access into the store. Hermione was amazed that he didn’t look as much
like Draco as she thought he would. He was tall for his age, possessed the same
silver-blond hair, but had a different look about him. It wasn’t the same as
Draco’s glare, the one that told everyone he was above them and to look out for
his snide comments. No, this was a different look. It was as if there was some
hope still left within him to be a decent person. Of course, with his father’s
influence, there was no telling what kind of corruption he had already gone
“Dameon,” Malfoy said icily to his son. His son
looked right up at him and straightened his shoulders in a sign of deep
“Get your things… quickly,” he looked around
at the four standing opposite him. “We have no business staying here
longer than necessary.”
Dameon’s midnight blue eyes scanned the people
standing around, and stopped suddenly when they arrived between Ron and
Kaitlyn gulped. He was looking straight at her! The
look on his face was neutral, as if he was trying to decide whether or not to
abhor her. She fought with the intensity of his look, hoping that in some weird
way, she won.
He didn’t smile nor did he sneer. His gaze focused
off of hers and he strode pass with a distinct Malfoy march. Confident, cool,
and snide. Draco walked past Hermione quickly, not daring to meet her eyes. Ron
turned around and began to walk from her side, but she grabbed his hand and
dragged him out of the store.
“Can you believe that… that… I just… I wanted to…”
Kaitlyn had never seen her father so angry that he
couldn’t speak a full sentence. It was amazing… yet what was most amazing was
the fact that her mother could walk over to him, place her hands on his
shoulders, whisper something soothing into his ear, and he noticeably calmed.
He turned around and faced her. He looked into her eyes happily, put his head
on her shoulder, and wrapped his arms around her waist.
She looked over at her Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny.
They were holding hands while entertaining Sara, Jeremiah, and Ben. They were
also sickly in love, as Kaitlyn could tell. They were catching loving glimpses
of each other and sneaking the occasional kiss when everything was quiet.
Kaitlyn looked back at the bookstore ruefully. Was
she ever going to find something like that? Something as special as what her
parents had. It seemed completely unlikely. She would never find the perfect
love, not the love that a naïve Ron Weasley had found in the bright Hermione
Granger. Or something that her aunt and uncle shared.
But then she remembered the way Dameon had set his
eyes on her. Maybe he saw something there that she had neglected to see. Maybe
there was a chance for her to find that kind of love somewhere.
It wasn’t the question of when, though. It was a
question of who.