Disclaimer: Not mine.
Spectacle of the Year
It was the spectacle of the year. If Lucius Malfoy were to remarry after the death of his wife, most wizards and witches would think he'd share his life with a young blonde buxom beauty, something reminiscent of the old Malfoy prestige and glamour. If Lucius Malfoy would tie the knot at another binding ceremony, most wizards and witches would assume he'd have a grand spectacle on the glorious grounds of Malfoy Manor with the best and brightest of Britain and the rest of the magical world as his guests.
Most wizards and witches were imbeciles.
Severus Snape shared this sentiment as he leaned back against the wall of the Ministry's Ballroom during his friend's reception. Only Merlin knew how less than three years after the War, Lucius was able to convince the Ministry of Magic that: yes, he had been under the Imperius Curse during Tom Riddle's second coming; yes, he switched over to the side of light when Snape was able to break through the spell; and yes, he, his son, and Snape were all fighting for the good of the Wizarding world during the Final Battle.
Under normal circumstances, Snape was sure that a well-placed sack of Galleons had been given to the right officials. But Lucius' fifteen-month imprisonment in Azkaban gave the Ministry plenty of time to seize the Malfoy riches, leaving Lucius dangerously close to destitute. Snape also knew that the Wizengamot was on a fervent mission to rid Britain of "evil forces" after the Dark Lord's demise.
Snape shrugged the surly thoughts away. The important thing was that he was free despite his killing Dumbledore and that the closest thing to a friend he ever had in his life was getting married. Although Snape was comfortable with the fact that he would remain a bachelor indefinitely, he had spotted a handsome young man sipping a drink across the room.
A Weasley is better than nothing, he thought as he made his way toward the red-haired dragon keeper.
"Father, you know that I support you, but… why?"
"Draco, I thought I explained it you already." Lucius reclined in his chair, watching his beautiful new wife talk with her family by an ice sculpture of a hippogriff emitting colorful sparks periodically. Sure, she wasn't svelte or voluptuous, and she was the complete physical opposite of his deceased wife… but he had come to love her, nonetheless. He thanked Merlin that her first husband had perished along with his wife during the Final Battle. Lucius had cared for his wife in his own way, and he knew that when Arthur Weasley had died, a part of Molly's heart had died along with him. But the new relationship they had developed when she nursed him to health after the War was something tangible and wonderful to Lucius. This was something he had tried many times to clarify to Draco.
"It's just that you married a Weasley, Father. No, to be accurate, you married the bloody Weasley matriarch!" Draco couldn't help but whine at the craziness of the situation.
Lucius sighed. "All you need to know is that I… love her and that you're going to have to accept that. You know what your problem is, Draco?"
"That I am shocked and appalled at your bout of madness?"
"No. Your problem is that you have never fallen in love." When he saw Draco wince, Lucius added, "It took me almost fifty years to learn how to love, and I don't want the same thing to happen to you. Come." Lucius grabbed his son's hands and pulled him out of his chair.
"Look around you, Draco." Lucius gestured to the wide expanse of the ballroom. "There are so many unattached witches here. Beautiful, clever, and successful witches, all of them elated by the romanticism of the afternoon. See, even my stepson has caught onto the idea." Lucius pointed out Ron Weasley, who was happily dancing with Pansy Parkinson.
"Good Lord," Draco whispered. "This means that… that…" His face paled considerably.
"Straighten yourself out and find a girl; that's all I'm saying."
"It's not that," Draco gasped. "I just realized… Weasley's my stepbrother."
And with that, Draco promptly fainted.
When Draco finally woke, a bushy mass of hair clouded his vision. He blinked and his sight cleared, showing a face tightened with worry and warm brown eyes filled with concern.
"He's come to." A high-pitched voice called out.
Draco sat up with a start. Not only did he faint in front of Weasley and Potter, but their girlfriend was standing over him, her wand pointed at his face.
"Are you going to Avada me for good this time, Granger?" Draco felt someone poking his back, and he turned to see his father giving him a stern look.
"Malfoy, could you please turn around so I can examine you?" Draco obliged and saw that he wasn't in the ballroom of the Ministry of Magic, but was sitting in a hospital bed at St. Mungo's. Granger, still wearing her emerald green dress robes from the reception party, had cast a Lumos spell and was shining the bright wand light into his eyes.
"Looks like everything is fine here, Mr. Malfoy, only a small fainting spell – and not of the magical variety, either. What do you think triggered it?" Granger asked, focusing her attention on the younger man.
"Nothing," Draco said.
"Nothing at all? Did you ingest any new foods or drinks? Take any potions recently? I would have cast an Ennervate on you, but with the alcohol at the reception…"
"What time is it?" Draco asked.
"Seven-thirty. You were out for five hours," Molly said as she looked at the hospital room's clock.
Draco started; he hadn't been aware of the fact that the older witch was with them.
"Oh, you didn't see me, dear? I've been waiting with your father until you came to."
Draco was prepared to say some cutting remark to her, but he noted how she had stayed with his father in the hospital when they could have been in France for their honeymoon. "I didn't see you, that's all… What are you doing here, anyway? Go on and enjoy yourselves. I'll be fine."
Lucius laid a hand on Draco's shoulder. "We'll be off now then. Remember what I told you earlier. Don't wait too long."
"Take care, Draco." Molly hesitated a moment before rushing toward the wizard and giving him a sound kiss on his forehead.
As the door swung closed behind the newlyweds, Granger said, "It was a lovely wedding."
"I know." His stepmother couldn't be so bad, he decided.
"Well, now that you're awake…." Granger took out a piece of parchment and a quill. She spelled both to hover in the air and began to dictate.
"Patient's name: Malfoy, Draco. Age: nineteen."
"Twenty. Symptoms: fainting spells –"
"There's been only one."
"No other medical history in your family, then?" Granger stepped away from the quill and parchment and took out her wand.
"No… ow!" Draco flinched as the witch prodded him with her wand. "What are you doing?"
"Good to see that your reflexes are working as they should… normal temperature, clear lungs…" Granger stood in front of Draco again and held out her wand.
"Please follow the wand with your eyes," she said.
Draco did so, moving his eyes left, right, up and down, and in a circle… over and over and over….
"Mmhmm, everything is in good order," Granger murmured, stopping the progress of her quill and taking both items from the air. "You may go now, but be sure to come back tomorrow."
"Additional testing. Although I don't think there is anything serious here, there is the history of mental illness from the Black side of your family that we need to be wary of."
Draco stood from the bed and took a step in the direction of the door when he lost his balance and grabbed onto the closest thing he could find.
He froze he realized that he was latching on to the warm body of Granger.
"My apologies," he muttered, hurrying out the door.
"Impaired motor skills… and partial erection?" Hermione added the information to her file.
She headed for the staff room to shrug on her Healer-in-Training robes when she bumped into a red-head with a silly grin on his face.
"Fred Weasley, what are you doing here?" She laughed, pushing herself off of the twin.
"Delivering some Nosebleed Nougats – the other ends of them have been really useful for St. Mungo's with cases of extreme blood loss. What's with you?"
"Nothing, except you're the second unattainable male in the past minute that I have felt up." She smirked at him.
"I think we can change that," Fred said, embracing Hermione and leading her back into the empty hospital room.