Anything that happens once does not necessarily happen again. Everything that happens twice is likely to happen for the third time as well.
Jasper had disappeared. He was just simply gone and no one- not even the authorities could find him. Amee lived in constant fear that he was going to come back and kill her, so she once again moved into the Manor.
Hermione was devastated and walked around like a zombie. The guilt she felt was immense and it took all her courage to sit Amee and Draco down and tell them her secret.
"I have known all along what Jasper was going to be. I knew and I tried to stop it." She sat there, waiting for the storm to erupt. "And I failed," she added quietly.
"What!" Draco shouted. "Not again, Hermione! You promised me that there was nothing else you were keeping from me!"
Amee put her hand on Draco, trying to calm him. "I'm sure she felt she was doing the right thing. If I were able to know before hand what was to happen in the future, I suppose I would try to change the bad things, wouldn't you?"
"I'm not angry about her knowing things, Amee, I'm angry that she kept this from me after saying she wouldn't!"
"Draco, please try to understand!" Hermione said. "I had failed Jade, I thought 'here's my chance! I can make up for it by making sure her son has a better future than he's destined for!' But it just wasn't meant to be. You can't stop fate."
Draco was silent for a few minutes. "Hermione, did you ever in your wildest dreams, think our lives would turn out this way?"
Hermione looked at him sadly. "Never."
Amee, a slight grin on her tired face, said, "It hasn't been all that bad has it? You have each other, and there were never two people more in love than you two."
"True, very true, "Draco said, picking up his wife's hand and kissing it."We have been lucky in some things, haven't we?"
Hermione smiled at him. "As long as we have each other, I guess we can get through anything fate sends our way."
Draco's heart lurched. He knew that they wouldn't have each other for much longer- not unless he was able to find his bastard of a grandson and kill him before he could kill Hermione.
Hermione suddenly glanced over at Amee, a concerned look spread across her face. Amee was clutching he head in her hands, her face deathly pale. "Amethyst, are you okay? What's wrong?" She stood up and rushed to her granddaughter's side.
Amee was now moaning in pain, Draco shot out of his seat as she leaned forward and threw up all over the floor. "Let's get her to bed," he said, picking her up and carrying her from the room.
By the time they put her in her bed, she was passed out cold. Her breathing was very labored and her skin was clammy and pale. They sat by her bed, wondering what to do.
"She hasn't been sick for so long, why now?" Hermione said, tearing up. "After all she's been through these past weeks, now she has to deal with this!"
"Should we take her to St. Mungo's?"
"Why?" Hermione said. "They weren't able to help her before, what makes you think they can help her now?"
Draco wanted to scream in frustration. "There has to be something we can do! Someone who knows what the hell is wrong with her!"
"Shh! You're going to wake her and she needs her rest."
They sat with her all night and in the morning, there was no improvement. In fact, she was worse. The pain in her head was so intense that she would scream and beg for someone to kill her. Draco and Hermione gave up trying to help her and rushed her to the hospital.
They waited impatiently for the Healers to tell them any news. They hoped that a miracle would happen and somehow, someone would find out what was wrong with her.
"Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy?" a very tall and thin Healer said, coming towards them.
"Amethyst is fine, we have her stabilized.
"Thank God!" Hermione said, putting her head on Draco's chest.
"Have you been able to find what's wrong with her? She has been sick like this off and on her whole life, but never has it been this bad."
"I'm sorry, but until the test results come back, I'm afraid we know nothing," the Healer said. "I do have to ask your permission for something though."
They looked at him curiously.
"The potion we've given her is not very powerful and I'm afraid it will wear off in a few hours and she will be in serious pain still."
"And what exactly do you need our permission for?" Draco asked, suddenly scared.
The Healer looked at them, his face very serious. "I need your permission to give her a more powerful potion."
"Of course! By all means, do what you need to do to take the pain away," Hermione said.
"I don't think you understand the consequences," the Healer said.
"What the hell are you talking about?" Draco was now so close to losing his patience with the man.
"If we give her the pain potion, it will more than likely kill the baby."
Draco and Hermione stood there in shocked silence.
"I take it you didn't know your granddaughter was pregnant?"
Hermione managed to speak, "No. We had no idea. I'm not even sure she knows."
"How far along is she?" Draco asked, praying that it couldn't be Jasper's baby. Hermione seemed to read his mind and squeezed his hand in fearful anticipation.
"About three weeks."
Hermione's hand shot to her mouth in anguish and she started sobbing uncontrollably. "No! God! Why Draco? Why! Why are we being punished like this?"
"Is there anything the matter?" the Healer asked, concerned.
Draco, his exterior calm and collected, looked the Healer dead in the face and said, "No, nothing. Please, go ahead and give her the potion. We must think of Amee's welfare first and foremost." He knew it was a helpless child, but he validated his decision on the fact that he was saving it from a life of God knew what. It might be just like its father and no one wanted that. He hoped Amee would understand that he did it for her, that he didn't want any more pain in her life.
Hermione was still crying. "Please help our granddaughter any way you can," she said, "do whatever is necessary to help her." Hermione was not willing to risk her granddaughter's life just to save a baby that might be as evil as its father. Amee was still young and she would have many more opportunities to have children.
After the Healer left, they sat in silence, holding each other, wondering if they had done the right thing. What would Amee say? How would she react when she found out about the baby?
They needn't have worried. When Hermione told her that she lost the baby she was carrying and that it had been Jasper's; Amee was quiet for only a few moments as if silently thanking the heavens. "It was my child and I'm sad and even though you might think I'm a monster for saying this, I'm kind of relieved that it's gone." She did not want to be responsible for carrying on whatever evil Jasper had in his veins. It would end with her.
The next day, When Amee awoke, she was very happy to see the smiling faces of her Aunts.
"You're finally awake!" Ruby said, kissing Amee on her cheek. "We've been waiting here for an eternity and you know how Emerald hates to wait!"
"How are you feeling?" Emerald asked. "Is there any pain?"
"I'm feeling a little better, it hardly hurts at all."
"Thank Merlin! You gave us all quite a fright!" Ruby said. "Mum and Dad told us what happened."
Amee looked at them sharply. "And what exactly did they tell you?"
Ruby and Emerald eyed each other uneasily. What their parents had told them was very shocking and disturbing. To think that this had been going on under their very noses for years and they never knew- no one had bothered to tell them.
"Honey, they told us everything. The affair, the reason Jasper was sent away, how he killed poor Brian and assaulted you and about the ba... well, they told us everything." Emerald sat on the edge of Amee's bed. "Why didn't you come to one of us? We would have gladly helped you!"
"I was ashamed."
Ruby pulled out her handkerchief and wiped her eyes. "There is nothing to be ashamed about. He took advantage of you, plain and simple." There was a hint of hatred in her voice. "And when they catch him, he'll get his just punishment- that is if my father doesn't catch him first."
"You're grandfather is on a rampage and I can only imagine what he'll do if he ever finds Jasper." Emerald said, "Personally, I hope he kills the fucking prick!"
"Well? What did you expect?" She started walking arrogantly across the room, a huge smirk on her face. "I'm a Malfoy through and through. I take no shit from anybody and God help the person, who hurts a member of my family!" She said, mimicking Draco's voice perfectly.
They all had a good laugh at that. The door opened and Draco and Hermione walked in, looking around at all the laughing faces. "What did we miss?" Hermione asked.
"Oh, Aunt Emmie was just doing her impersonation of grandfather!"
Draco frowned at his daughter. "I wish you wouldn't do that!"
"You wish I wouldn't do a lot of things, but that has never stopped me from doing them!" Emmie lifted her head and gave him a smirk. She looked so much like Draco when she did that, that it always made him smile. "I am a Malfoy and I do what I want, when I want and if you don't like it, you can go straight to hell!" She said, sounding exactly like her father.
Draco shook his head in amusement. "I used to love when you'd sneak up on the House Elves when they were goofing off and then shout in my voice! Damn if they didn't piss themselves!"
Hermione stood by the door, watching her family. Everyone was so happy, laughing and having a good time. If only it could have always been like this! If only Jade and Jasper had never... No! she couldn't- wouldn't think that!
Lately she had been having terrible thoughts like these. They seemed to always be there, she even dreamed about them. If only there was a way she could go back in time and stop Jade from ever being born! If only she and Draco would have never made love that night perhaps, everything would have been different! She actually thought about going to Hogwarts and seeing if that damn clock still worked.
Jasper had followed Draco and Hermione down the hospital corridor and he now was outside the door, listening to every word. Every now and then someone would walk down the hall and he would give them a friendly good morning. Lucky for him, they were always women and all he had to do was flash a smile and they became so flustered that they didn't notice he was just hanging out in the hall.
He could hear them all laughing and having a good old time in there. How he hated that sound! What right did they have to be happy when he was so fucking miserable? They wouldn't be laughing for long, though. Not if he got his way- and he always did.
He inched closer to the door and put his ear against it.
"Have you heard anything about Jasper? Have they found him yet?" Ruby asked.
"No," Draco said. "And I hope to hell I find him first."
"What are you going to do? Kill him?" Emerald said with an uneasy laugh.
Draco only looked at her.
"Seriously?" she asked, her eyes huge with shock.
"I've killed before and I'll do it again if I have to."
"But this is your grandson!" Hermione said. "How are you going to murder your own flesh and blood?"
"You forget, Hermione. I killed my own father, remember? Slipped him some nice poison in his wine?"
"You did what?" Amee said.
"Has he never told you that story?" Ruby asked. "It's a great family legend. I happen to think it's a bunch of bullshit..."
"It's not," Hermione said and everyone became really quiet. "I was there. I saw Lucius die a most horrible death. Nobody deserves to die like that, not even Jasper."
Draco frowned and changed the subject. "So, did they say when you'll be able to leave?"
"Good! Just in time to help us plan the family reunion!" Draco said happily.
"Do you really think that's a good idea?" Emerald said. "I mean with Jasper running loose? He might be crazy enough to show up!"
"I don't think he will. The authorities are after him and he's not stupid enough to show up at a family picnic, were at the first glance of him, we'd tear him to shreds."
Draco didn't agree with Ruby at all. "He's crazy and crazy people are unpredictable.""
Jasper grinned, his eyes sparkled maniacally. He had completely forgotten about the reunion. It was the perfect opportunity to carry out his plan. All the talk about poisoned wine was giving him ideas. "I never knew he had killed his father. How dare he call me a murderer? He's just as bad!" He thought about how wonderful it will be to see the look on his grandfather's face when his wife dies in the same horrible way his father did!
Back in the room, Ruby and Emerald were saying goodbye to their niece. "We'll see you next weekend. You take care of yourself." Amee kissed them goodbye and they left, closing the door behind them.
Jasper quickly walked down the hall and turned the corner. He hid behind the giant fern and listened as his aunts walked by.
"I feel so sorry for her! Imagine, having your own brother rape you and then, to find out your carrying his child! If that happened to me, I'd be a nutter!"
All the air went out of Jasper's lungs and he fell up against the wall.
"She's lucky father told that Healer to give her that potion. I mean the baby died, but at least she doesn't have to look at it everyday and remember how it was conceived."
"I just wonder if she had been conscious, would she have made the same decision? Do you think she would have..."
They passed by him very close, but Jasper no longer heard anything they were saying. He was devastated and to his astonishment, he was actually crying. Amee had been pregnant with his baby and his fucking grandfather had made the decision to kill it!
He slammed his fist into the wall, making a huge hole and breaking his hand. He held it up and looked at it. It was already swelling and blood ran down his knuckles in tiny rivers. He flexed his fingers, relishing the immense pain that made his head swim. "I'll kill them, all of them," he thought. "And I'll kill him last just to make him suffer; make him feel the pain I'm feeling." He flexed his hand again, opening the wounds bigger. He took the tip of his tongue and slowly licked the blood, shuddering at the taste. "You will pay for what you've done old man, pay with your life."
The day before the reunion, Hermione was out in the gardens, cutting roses for flower arrangements when a hand fell on he shoulder. She jumped, a tiny scream escaping from her lips. The hand clamped over her mouth and she struggled.
"Shh! It's me grandmother," came Jasper's voice in her ear.
Hermione stiffened, her eyes wide with fear. He was going to kill her, she knew it.
"I'm going to remove my hand, please don't scream." He slowly took it away and she whirled around to face him, brandishing her wand.
"What are you doing here!?" she said, looking around for the nearest help. She was the only one around, Draco was in the house and Amee was at work. She aimed the wand at his chest. "I'm going to count to three and if you're not gone, I'm going to curse you."
Jasper lifted his eyebrow in a mocking manner. "Please, grandmother! You could never hurt me!"
"You're wrong, Jasper. After what you've done, I have no problem hurting you."
"Don't you want to hear my side of the story?" he asked, looking sad and trying to make her feel bad. "I don't know what Amee told you, but I never meant to hurt what's his name."
"His name was Brian and what the hell do you mean you never MEANT to hurt him?" Hermione said, her voice rising. "You murdered him in cold blood and then you raped your sister!"
"It was an accident! I never wanted to hurt them!"
"An accident? An accident!" She was shaking with anger. "It was no accident and I wish that for once you would just admit what you've done and face the consequences! Stop lying to yourself and stop trying to manipulate me!"
"Please grandmother, keep your voice down," Jasper said, looking around.
Hermione backed up, keeping her wand on Jasper. "From the day you were born, I held you in my arms and I cared for you. I've done everything I could to prevent you from becoming the monster I was told you would be. I was the only one who stuck up for you, the only one who looked past your faults and tried to see the good in you. I was the only one who ever really loved you and THIS IS HOW YOU REPAY ME?"
Jasper knew he had to do something; this was not going as planned. He never thought she would react this way. "I'm begging you to listen to me!" He reached for her, trying to look as pitiful as he could. "I'm grateful for everything you've done for me. You were always the one I could count on, the one into whose arms I would crawl when everything seemed dark. You made me feel safe and loved; always you had a kind word to say to me."
Hermione was weakening, he could see it. He was counting on her to be over emotional as always and she didn't let him down. "I love you and I just want a chance to tell my side of the story."
"Why, Jasper? Why did you do it?" she said, lowering her wand and sinking to the ground.
He came over and sat down next to her, putting his arm around her. "It was Amee's fault. She made me fall in love with her and when she left, I went mad. In the institution, all I ever thought about was her. You understand that don't you?" he asked. "When you're so much in love with someone that they're all you think about- dream about?"
Hermione was silent, taking in everything he was saying. She did know that kind of love, the kind that bordered on obsession. She had felt that way about Draco in the beginning. That feeling that you have to be with the person everyday all day, that woozy feeling you got in your stomach every time they walked into the room. It was normal to feel that way in the beginning, everyone did.
"When Brian walked in and told me they were getting married, I just lost it! I had been locked away for eleven years! Eleven years I spent waiting for the day when I could get out and be with her again and then, I find out she's engaged to another man! I was furious!"
Hermione looked over at him. He was clearly an emotional mess. Had she been wrong to assume he was a crazed monster?
"Amee didn't mention any fight."
"She didn't?" Jasper said, with fake surprise.
"No. She said you killed him as soon as he walked through the door."
"I don't know why she would say that, but that's not what happened."
Hermione was confused. "Why would Amee lie about something that important?"
"Because SHE'S the one who killed him." He had no idea where that came from, but it sounded good.
"What?" Hermione as completely floored.
"We were making love when he walked through the door. He was crazy with anger and he attacked us with his wand, throwing hexes and curses. I tried to protect Amee, but he was so powerful!" Jasper was laughing inside. The thought of that wanker being more powerful than he was utterly ridiculous! "He hit Amee with some kind of spell, tossing her into the air and sending her crashing to the floor. I tried to get to her but he came from nowhere, attacking me and pinning me to the ground."
Hermione was listening, hanging on every word. What he was saying made sense, much more sense than him raping his sister and killing her boyfriend. Had they been wrong to just accept Amee's word about what happened? Amee was knocked out for a long time and maybe she had the facts all jumbled up in her head.
"All of the sudden, Amee came from nowhere and hit him with some spell. I think it was that one Harry told us about- Sectumsempra?"
'That would explain the huge gashes all over his body,' Hermione thought. "What happened after that? Were did you go? When Amee came to, she was alone, you weren't there."
"I honestly can't answer that," Jasper said. "I have no memory of the events after that. I woke up in the park down the street from her flat. I have no idea how I got there. I immediately went back to see if she was okay but she was gone. The place was a bloody mess and that's when I saw the letter from grandfather on the floor. I picked it up and read it. It was warning her that I was out and that I might come after her to hurt or even kill her."
"As soon as she read that letter, she apparated here, to the Manor. She was hysterical and a bloody mess," Hermione said, picking at the blades of grass at her feet. "Draco went back alone and found Brian."
"I was there when he showed up." Jasper said in a sad quiet voice. "I hid in the closet and I heard him curse me and say that what happened was all my fault. I knew right then and there that I was going to be blamed, that Amee was either confused or that she had turned against me." He was so ecstatic that this weave of lies was turning into a totally believable piece of fiction. It was hard to hold back his glee.
"And all you've said is true?"
Jasper, his eyes welling up with fake tears, cried, "yes! Every word!" He started sobbing into his hands. "Say you believe me!" He wondered how this woman had ever been considered 'the brightest witch of her age' when she was clearly as dumb as a box of rocks. He knew she wanted desperately to believe him and he knew exactly how to play her.
Hermione pulled him into a loving embrace. "Of course I believe you!" And she did. She was now sure that Amee must have injured her head during the attack and it somehow made her remember the events wrongly. She was relieved to know that Jasper wasn't a murderer and that maybe she had succeeded in changing something. "And so will your grandfather, when I tell him."
Jasper panicked, "No!"
"You don't want me to tell him?" Hermione asked. "But...'
"Tell me what?" Draco said from the other side of the rose bushes. "Who are you talking to?"
The rose bushes were suddenly blasted away and Draco ran through the smoke, his wand held aloft. "Get the fuck away from her!"
"Draco, no! He told me what really happened; you have to listen to him!"
"I will not listen to a damn word that comes from his fucking mouth! He's a rapist, a killer and a damn liar! How can you even think of believing anything he says?"
Jasper held up his hands, wanting Hermione to see that he was wandless and didn't intend to hurt anyone. He wanted Draco to hurt him first. It would make him look all that much better in her eyes. "Please, grandfather, I'm not armed! I came only to tell my side of the story."
"Your side of the story?" Draco said, laughing in Jasper's face. "I already know the real story, I have no need to hear your filthy fucking lies!" He jabbed his wand, a jet of red light flew from it, hitting Jasper in the face and sending him hurling through the air.
"Draco! Don't hurt him!" Hermione said, trying to take his wand from his hand.
"Get in the house now, Hermione and let me do what I need to do!" She was clinging to his arm, trying to smack the wand to the ground. "God damn it!" he shouted, pushing her. "He deserves to die. Now, get the hell out of my way!" He immediately felt sorry for screaming at her and the hurt look on her face made him stop in his tracks. "I'm sorry," he said grabbing her and holding her close.
Draco felt a sudden furious rush of hot air, and both, he and Hermione were knocked to the ground.
"Are you alright?" he said, coughing from the dirt in the air.
"I think so," she answered as he helped her up.
Draco turned to the spot where Jasper was supposed to be, already knowing it would be empty. "He's gone."
Hermione looked at him sadly. "I hope you're happy," she said and left him standing in the middle of the ruined rose garden.
The reunion was wonderful. Draco and Hermione were in their glory having their entire family around them for the whole day. Neville and Luna, Ginny, Ron and Gabrielle were also there. Harry was unable to come because he had pressing business at the Ministry. It was an amazing day, sunny, warm and not a cloud in the sky.
The children played games, rode horses and ate sweets until they were sick. The adults sat around, gossiping about people, getting drunk and thoroughly enjoying themselves. They hardly noticed the security officers that Draco had placed around the grounds just in case Jasper showed up again.
"Well, I think it's time we head home," Neville said to Luna.
"Yeah, I need a nap, I'm stuffed!" Ron said, patting his nonexistent stomach.
"Do you really have to go?" Hermione asked them. She was having such a great time, she had even managed to forget for a time about the events in the garden the day before. She and Draco had been cool to one another all day, avoiding being alone together. He was so damn stubborn! Why wouldn't he just listen to what Jasper had to say? Why is it that Amee's version of what happened was the only account in his eyes?
Draco was laughing loudly at a joke Ginny had told him and Hermione glanced over at him. He looked so happy, sitting here amongst his family and friends, but inside she knew he was a volcano ready to erupt with violence. He had told her in no uncertain words that if she ever saw Jasper again, he was going to take pleasure in dismembering his body, grinding it up and feeding it to the coy fish in the pond. He was crazy with rage, a vindictive man bent on revenge, it made her wonder if she'd known him at all.
Everyone gathered up their children and grandchildren and headed home. The House Elves went to work cleaning up and soon it was only Draco, Hermione and Amee.
Amee said she was going to head into the house to lie down. She had gotten a bit too much sun and she wanted a cold bath to cool her hot skin. Draco and Hermione decided to sit for awhile to watch the sunset, so they headed for the porch swing- their favorite place to relax.
To Hermione's surprise, Draco reached over and put his arm around her. "I really love you, you know," he said, smiling warmly her. "Today made me realize just how much." He kissed her gently on her cheek. "I'm sorry."
She pulled him close and held him tightly. "I love you so much," she said, tears welling up in her eyes. "I don't want anything to ever come between us again."
They sat there, swinging, watching the sun set, turning the sky brilliant shades of pink and orange. "It's beautiful!" Hermione said. "I don't think I've ever seen a prettier sunset."
"It's not nearly as pretty nor beautiful as you," he said, brushing the graying strands of hair from her face. "It's so nice to sit here and grow old with you, to know that our love has endured this long. Through pain and tragedy, we are still as much in love as we were when we were young." His lips met hers and they kissed, tenderly.
As he was kissing her, a huge tawny owl swooped by and dropped a letter in Draco's lap. He picked it up, opened it and read it out loud. "Malfoy, sorry I couldn't come to the reunion, but you know how it is. Work is a bitch, I can't wait to retire! Anyway, Ginny suggested that you and I get together tonight at the Pub and have a little party ourselves. What do you say? Think you can get away from the old ball and chain and get a few pints with me? Say around eight o'clock? Harry."
"Ball and chain!" Hermione said indignantly. "He'll pay for that remark!"
Draco folded up the parchment. "Would you mind if I went? I haven't seen Harry in so along."
Hermione smiled sweetly at him and slapped his cheek playfully. "As long as you're not gone for too, long."
Draco jumped up. "I won't stay long and I'll even take my watch, so I can't use not knowing the time as an excuse for being late." He headed for the house to get his pocket watch.
"Oh and Draco?"
He paused and looked back at her.
"I'll be waiting up for you...naked," she said with a saucy wink.
He chuckled and went into the house.
After he had left, Hermione yawned tiredly. It had been along day and what she really wanted was a glass of wine and then a long hot bath. She headed towards the library, walked over to the bar and stopped dead, her hand clutching her chest. "Jasper?" He was sitting in the leather recliner, a glass of what looked like vodka in his hand. "If he finds you here..."
"He won't. He's gone to the pub to meet Harry, hasn't he?" Jasper gave Hermione his most charming smile. "He won't be back for some time, you know once he and Harry get to drinking and reminiscing, it'll be two in the morning."
Draco sat at the pub, in he and Harry's regular seat, tapping his finger against his glass impatiently. Harry was late and it wasn't like him to keep Draco waiting- especially when it came to having drinks. He glanced at the door when it opened. "Damn!" It wasn't him.
Jasper stood up gracefully and walked over to her. "So did you have a good time today?" he asked. "I wish I could have been there." Hermione reached for an empty glass and Jasper put his hand on hers. "Here, let me pour you a drink."
Hermione smiled gratefully at him. He returned the smile and then, turned his back to her to fix the drink. 'He really is a very kind and considerate man,' she thought. 'If only everyone else could see what I see!' "Thank you," she said
"It's your favorite, red wine," he said, handing her the glass.
Draco sighed in frustration. Still, no Harry. He pulled out his pocket watch to check the time and as soon as his fingers touched it, a wave of dizziness washed over him. He clutched the edge of the table. Visions flashed through his mind, going by so fast that he could barely register most of them.
Flash- he was a child and Lucius was unwrapping the very same pocket watch.
Flash- he was being screamed at by his father for dropping it on the ground.
Flash- Hermione's smiling face.
Flash- he was older know and he was taking the same watch out of a package that also held a colorful coat.
Flash- Hermione was bringing a glass of blood red wine to her lips.
Flash- his father was at their wedding, looking at the watch.
Flash- Dumbledore was handing him the watch, telling him it might come in handy in the future when he fears all is lost.
Flash- Lucius was drinking the wine he had poisoned
Flash- Hermione was lying on the ground, Jasper laughing over her.
Draco suddenly screamed, and stood up so fast that he knocked the table over and sent beer flying everywhere.
"I'm glad you came. I was afraid that after everything he said to you yesterday, you wouldn't come back." Hermione swirled her wine around under her nose, loving the mellow smell.
Jasper was so impatient for her to drink the damn wine that he wanted to knock her to the floor and pour it down her fucking throat. "You needn't have worried; there is nothing on this earth that could keep me from being here today. Now, drink your wine and then, perhaps we can take a walk in the garden just like we used to."
Hermione smiled and walked over to the fireplace, and looked into the fire. She put the glass closer to he lips. "I'd like that!" she said, turning towards him.
"Then hurry and drink the wine," he said, trying to keep the anger from his voice. "Please? We only have a little while to spend together before he comes back."
That seemed to give her a jolt and Jasper watched as her lips wrapped around the glass and the dark red liquid slid into her mouth.
Draco ignored the strange looks of the other patrons and ran outside where he apparated to the Manor. "Hermione!" he screamed as soon as his feet hit the floor of the library. Jasper was laughing like some crazy lunatic and there she was- his wife, his love- lying on the floor in front of the fireplace, an empty glass clutched in her hand.
"No!" he cried, rushing towards her. He fell down next to her, trying to find a pulse, breathing... anything.
"She's dead, grandfather! And you're next!" Jasper said with a cruel grin, picking up Hermione's wand from the floor and pointing it at Draco head.
Everything had a nightmarish quality to it, the flames dancing off the walls, Jasper's maniacal laughter, Hermione lying dead on the hearth rug. He was crying as he gently laid his head on her chest. She was really dead; he had not been able to stop anything! "Go ahead and kill me then, Jasper," he said, lifting his head. "I don't want to live without her."
For a moment, Jasper thought that maybe a better revenge would be to keep him alive, to force him to live out the rest of his years without her. "How would you like to die, old man? Slowly and painfully or fast and furious?"
Draco looked up at him, a sudden triumphant smile on his lips. Jasper only had time to register that something was wrong when he was hit over the head with a lead paper weight. His face was frozen in shock and he fell face forward, landing with a loud thud.
"Amee," Draco said, pleading for her to come over. "He's killed her! She's dead!"
Amee crouched down and felt for a pulse. Nothing. He was right, she was gone. Her grandfather suddenly lost his mind, jumped up and attacked Jasper's unconscious body, kicking it as hard as he could.
"I hate you, you sick fucking bastard! I hate you! I hate you!" His foot connected with the side of Jasper's head every time Draco said the word hate. Amee was pulling him with all her strength, trying to stop him. "I'll kill you, you crazy fuck!" he kicked him once more and then, sank to the ground, sobbing like a child.
Amee waited until he got a hold of himself. "What are we going to do with him?"
Draco, his eyes swollen, looked her dead in the face. "We bury him alive."
After placing Hermione gently on her bed and covering her with a sheet, Draco and Amee went back downstairs to the library. Amee had a feeling that Jasper would be gone when they got there but he wasn't. He was still laying face down in a growing pool of blood. They Stupefied him just to make sure he wasn't going anywhere. By the amount of blood, and the hole in the back of his head, Amee was sure Jasper wouldn't be going anywhere, anytime soon.
"Mobilicorpus!" Draco said and Jasper's body rose into the air. It followed behind them, trailing blood down the stairs as they went down, down, deep under the Manor and into the dungeons.
"Are you sure you want to do this?" Draco asked Amee. "You could go back upstairs and let me do it alone."
Amee glanced at him, a determined look on her face. "After all he's done to me, how can you even suggest that I not take part?" She pulled out her wand and said, "Incarcerous!" Thin ropes wound their way around Jasper's legs and upper body. "Is that it?" she asked, wiping the sweat from her brow.
"No." Draco pulled out a long knife and bent over Jasper. "It's not enough to just tie him and wall him up alive. He is very powerful, Amee. We need to make sure he can never get out."
To Amee's horror, Draco opened Jasper's eye lid and plunged the knife into his eyeball. She moaned in disgust as blood and fluid spurted out. He did the same to the other eye and then moved to his mouth. "What are you going to do?" she asked as Draco reached in Jasper's mouth and grabbed hold of his tongue.
"I'm going to slice out his tongue and then, I'm going to cut off his hands." With one swift swipe of the sharp knife, it was out. Draco threw it unceremoniously onto the cold wet floor. Jasper started moaning and choking on blood as he awoke.
Amee turned and faced the opposite direction, her hand pressed over her ears as Draco cut off his hands. The sounds were horrible and she bent over, retching onto the loose stones beneath her feet. "No more, grandfather! I can't stand it!"
"Help me to get him into the room," Draco said.
Amee saw that Jasper had once again descended into unconsciousness and she was grateful that she didn't have to hear him anymore.
The room was very small, almost closet-like and the three of them could barely fit inside together. They tossed his body on the ground and with one final glance at the pitiful man, they left and went to work bricking up the entrance.
It took hours; hours of listening to Jasper moan and try to scream for help. The wall was thick and by the time they placed the last bricks, they could hear nothing from inside the room. They were exhausted and silently, they headed back upstairs to notify the family about Hermione.
Jasper lie on the floor, unable to see, scream or move his arms and legs. It was so dark! Just like the dreams from his childhood. "Grandmother! Please help me! Save me from the darkness, Pleeeeeaaassssee!" he screamed in his head- but just like in his dreams, she never came.
After the funeral, Draco decided to tell Amee everything. The time travel, how he was supposed to stop the murder so that he and Hermione would stop traveling in a time loop for eternity- everything.
She listened, not interrupting at all. Finally, after he had finished, she spoke. "The solution to your problem is simple. If I'm correct, in fifteen years, you will be paid a visit from yourself and grandmother- just like before." She shifted in her seat, trying to get comfortable. "This is when you will have the chance to change everything."
"How?" he asked. "I've seen my older self and he didn't tell me jack shit about anything!"
"That's where you're wrong. He told you that sometime that very night, you were going to make love to- Hermione and conceive a child. This is where we can fix it!"
"But that means..." Draco was shocked.
"I know what it means, grandfather and I know the consequences." She kissed his stubbly cheek. "Now, we have a lot to do and only fifteen years to perfect it."
Fifteen years later...
Amee walked past her grandfather's door. He had moved to the downstairs bedroom earlier in the year because it was getting too hard for him to use the stairs. Pressing her ear up against the door, she listened to the heated conversation coming from within.
"But, Draco! You can't possibly think of doing this!"
"We have already decided, Dumbledore. Amee is willing to go through with it. Even more so now that they've told her, she only has a month to live at the most."
"I'm very sorry to hear that but you can't comprehend what this one small thing might change in the future!"
"I don't want to discuss this with you anymore. I've made up my mind and I intend to go through with it. Now kindly leave me alone."
"Draco, please listen to reason..."
"You know what Dumbledore? I think you should mind your own business. Why don't you go back and fix it so that Tom Riddle is never born? That may be the reason you're traveling on your time loop. See to it that he's never born. Imagine how much that would change! And who knows, maybe your soul could finally rest. Now get the hell out of my house!"
Amee looked up as there was a knock at the front door. She took a deep breath and went to meet her grandparents.
"Hello?" she said, opening the door. She gave them no time to speak but said, "Come right in, my grandfather has been expecting you." This time Draco wanted to speak to them right away, tell them everything and explain how this very night they could change their futures forever.
She ushered the confused pair into Draco's room and shut the door.
"I've been expecting you."
"Who..." Hermione started to ask.
"All will be explained, just please have a seat and listen to what I have to say."
He told them the whole story and by the end, both the young people were in tears.
Hermione was shocked at first to learn that the old man in the bed was Draco and that she was married to him. The story he told was heartbreaking and scary. She did not want her future to end as his had.
"What can we do to stop it?" young Draco asked. He took Hermione hand in his and held onto it tightly. He was willing to do anything to keep his future from being the way this man described it.
"This very night you are supposed to make love, thereby, conceiving your first child."
Hermione's eyes narrowed. "Are you telling us that in order to put an end to this, I must never give birth to Jade?" She looked over at Amee, who was looking at the floor. "But... but that means that you will never exist!"
"That's right," she said. "My life as been nothing but grief. I've been very sick, tortured and manipulated, raped, had my husband to be and my grandmother murdered, and now, I find out I only have a month to live." Tears were running down her face. "It would be better for me to have never been born. It's what I want. If I can give my grandfather a few more happy years with the love of his life, then I'm willing to sacrifice my existence."
They were shocked. "There is no other way?" Draco asked the old man.
"No. This is the only way."
Amee led them from the bedroom and shut the door quietly behind her. "I'll show you to your room. "I hope that you'll make the right decision. I've seen the devastation that your future and mine holds and please believe me when I say that I do not want it for you or anyone in my family. You have a chance to give your children and grandchildren a wonderful life, filled with love and security where nothing bad will touch them. All you have to do is listen to your heart- it will tell you what to do."
Amee left them and went back downstairs, where she crept into her grandfather's room. She pulled up a seat next to his and held his hand. She noticed that in his arm he was holding his favorite picture- the one of his three little girls at a tea party. She studied her mother in the picture. Her big grey eyes, her wavy pale hair. She looked so happy then, so full of life. Amee looked away and closed her eyes. It was going to be a long night. As she fell asleep, the image of her mother in the picture started to fade...
"Draco?" Hermione said, lying next to him on the bed. "I don't know what to do."
He turned over and put his arms around her. "We do what's right."
In the morning, they crept silently down the stairs. On the table by the door was a package addressed to Draco. He opened it and took out a gold pocket watch and a hideous gaudy coat.
"There's a letter," Hermione said, opening it.
"It says that he hopes we made the right decision, but if we didn't he's giving us the watch. The coat, he says you will need for the next place we're going. Amee made it herself, so don't laugh at it."
"There's a p.s. down at the bottom. It says ' for God sakes don't eat the sauerkraut no matter how tempting it looks or you'll regret it later!"
She handed the letter to him; he reread it and then, folded it up and put it in his pocket. "Shall we get going? The clock will be here any minute."
As they left, the old man in the bedroom opened his eyes. It was so bright that at first he thought he had died and gone into the afterlife- but it was only the sun shining through the curtains. He rolled over, expecting to be alone in the bed and was surprised when he hit something solid.
He patted the form, finding it soft and yielding- the body of a woman. He sat up. "Hermione?"
Hermione rolled over, her eyes tiny slits. "What time is it?" she asked sleepily.
Draco was suddenly on top of her kissing her, caressing her, sobbing like a child.
"What's wrong? Why are you crying?" Hermione asked.
"I've missed you!"
"Missed me?" she said, confused. "But I've been here all along."
Draco just smiled, happier than he had ever been in his life. She was here, really here! He slipped his arms around her and kissed her on her soft lips. He didn't know how long she would be here with him but he hoped it would be forever.
Only time would tell if that one small decision had made a change in the future of his younger self, if it had made anything better- but that wasn't for them to worry about. All he knew was that the wife he had missed like hell was now lying next to him, her warm body pressed close to his. He kissed her once more and then curled up next to her. Draco Malfoy slept well, for the first time in fifteen years.
July 20, 2007