The Sugar Quill
Author: Anione Graton  Story: Starcross'd  Chapter: Chapter 1
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The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Chapter 1

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!

 

Chapter 1

 

“But, but, Mum! Please! May I?”

“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 will you!”

“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 conversation.ogHioHo

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 behavior.

“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 now, darling?”

Kaitlyn smiled happily at her mother, grasped her mother’s arms, and sighed. “Yes. I would love to go in.”

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.

“Mum?”

“Yes, love?”

“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 friends.”

“And with Uncle Harry, right?”

“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?”

“That. 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 with dad?”

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 read.”

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 reproduced?”

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 through.

“Dameon,” Malfoy said icily to his son. His son looked right up at him and straightened his shoulders in a sign of deep respect.

“Yes sir?”

“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 Hermione.

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.

//
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