Chapter 4: The Blind Dragon
Draco pulled out onto the highway, after picking up the groceries that Ginny had requested.
"Daddy?" Draco turned around, but Cassie didn't say another word.
"Cassie?" The little girl didn't respond. She had gone pale and still. Then her body began to convulse and shake in violent tremors. "Damn!" Draco pulled over, and freed her from the car seat, before she hurt herself straining against the straps. Seconds after the seizure stopped, another started. This one was worse. "Crap, oh, crap." He had seen Cassie's seizures before, helped Ginny care for her even, but two seizures in a row right after having the flu was more than he could handle on his own. He moved her to the front seat, where there was more room, before pulling out and dialing the car phone.
"Emergency Room. What is the nature of your emergency?" The cool professional tone brought a wave of relief.
"My four year old daughter had two seizures in a row. She has a condition that causes them, but she hasn't had two so close together since she started this new medicine six months ago."
"What is the name of her condition?"
"I don't remember. She wears those medical alert tags. Julie, crawl up here and hand me Cassie's necklace. Epileptic. She's epileptic."
"Name of child?"
"Cassondra Starr Malfoy. Her doctor is Neville Longbottom."
"Your signal shows you moving, sir. We'll have a team waiting for you and I'll page Dr. Longbottom. Do you want me to stay on the line?"
"Please. I'm not sure what to do. She has the flu. Could that have caused this?"
"Possibly. Is she free of seatbelts and car seats?"
"Is there anyone you need to call?"
"My wife and brother-in-law. I have another cell phone. Julie, what is your mum's number?"
"And Uncle Ron's?"
"Good girl. Call them and tell them Cassie had two seizures."
"Alright sir, you're a block away. The team is ready."
He pulled into the parking low. Cassie's seizure started again, and Neville pulled her out of the car, placing her on the gurney. Draco picked up Julie and followed them. She tugged on his arm. "Uncle Ron and Mummy will be here in a couple of minutes."
More like moments. Ginny rushed in and seeing Draco and Julie, threw her arms around them. She took Julie and started peppering him with questions. Once he answered all he knew, she went up to the Nurse's Station to pester her.
Ron put a hand on Draco's shoulder. "Don't worry. She'll be okay. Ginny is just overprotective of Cassie. Even more so than Julie."
"The seizures for one. And Cassie's the spitting image of you."
"The twins are identical."
"But Cassie inherited your mannerisms, attitude, and smirk. I can't believe that I missed all of that before. She's just like you." Ron sighed. "Losing her would be like losing you again and Ginny couldn't bear that."
Draco felt a lump in his throat that had nothing to do with his daughter's mysterious illness and everything to do with the shame he felt for shoving Ginny away when he was blind.
Ginny returned and curled up in the chair next to Draco, head on his shoulder. Julie was napping on his lap, when Neville finally came out two hours later. "Appendicitis. Caused her to go into epileptic shock. She'll be fine. In recovery and already awake. Wants Julie."
Ginny smiled. "Can we see her?"
Cassie lay on the hospital bed in a little white hospital sleeper. An IV ran into her slim wrist, but her silver eyes were as alert as ever. "Daddy!" she squealed. "We forgot the toothpaste."
Draco choked with laughter. After everything she'd been through, she was worried about toothpaste. It was the first trace of Ginny's personality he had ever seen in this daughter, selfless concern. He sat next to the bed and tousled her hair. "Don't worry about it, Princess. It doesn't matter as long as you're okay." Cassie smiled and put her little hand in his larger one. Ginny lifted Julie up next to her sister and the girls giggled as they inspected Cassie's hospital bracelet. Draco drank in the sight, feeling Ginny's hand on his shoulder.
Finally Cassie looked over, begging. "Please tell us the story of the blind dragon, Mummy. We haven't heard it in a long time and Daddy never has."
"Once upon a time there was a powerful dragon who lived in a cave with many beautiful things inside it. A palace-like prison, but a prison nonetheless, despite the treasures around him. Then a beautiful Princess was sent to him, and she made him happy. He had no desire to leave his prison as long as she was there with him. But a shadow man killed the Princess and the Dragon fled the lonely cave. After a time, when he was strong, fast, and cunning, the most powerful of all dragons, he returned and fought a lengthy battle with the shadow man. In the end, he destroyed the shadow man, but the shadow man's final blow blinded the dragon. His silver eyes were empty. Even though he was still the strongest, fastest, and most cunning dragon, he was too afraid to take his place in the sky and returned to his prison."
"But someday when the time is right, the Blind Dragon will return for Lady Julie and Lady Cassie Starr of the Silver Eyes," the twins chimed in.
"There's more to the story now. Do you want to hear it?" The twins nodded, eyes wide. "The Blind Dragon recovered his sight, and realized his fears were foolish. He rescued Lady Cassie Starr using his other talents along with the help of loyal Lady Julie. For the Ladies of the Silver Eyes are very important to the Dragon."
"Wow," Cassie murmured sleepily. "I didn't know Daddy was a dragon."
Ginny laughed and kissed her forehead. "Something like that, sweetheart."
Ginny tucked Julie into bed. The little girl was already asleep, so the fuss over Cassie's absence was delayed. Ginny was worried about Draco. He had been silent on the way home, and he appeared troubled. Smoothing a blanket over Julie's shoulders, she turned and joined Draco at the doorway. He continued to stare at Julie, and Ginny put a hand on his shoulder. "Draco, what are you thinking about?"
"Ginny, that story you were telling the twins. Is that how you saw me after I went blind?"
"Yes. You were everything you had been before, but you were scared. I knew that you'd come around."
"So you're saying that if I hadn't ordered you out that afternoon. I could have had you and the girls all this time not out of pity, but out of love?" She nodded. "I'm a bloody idiot." He pulled her after him.
"Where are we going?"
"You'll see." He stopped in front of Irene's portrait. "Veritas."
"About time, Draco."
"Can you go away for the rest of tonight?"
"Making up for lost time," Draco said, with a smirk.
"I see. Ginny, I expect details in the morning."
"Some things are private, Irene." The portrait rolled her eyes, but disappeared, running down the hall. "Now why are we here?"
"Because decorum means that we can't go and kick Potter out of his house so we can use his sofa." Ginny giggled, and Draco continued. "I want you to know that I loved you then. I love you now, and I will love you forever, Ginny Malfoy."
"Good because I love you too, Draco Malfoy." Ginny moved into his arms and wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling him down for a kiss. He plopped down on the sofa and pulled her into his lap.