Whose Bright Idea Was This Again
A/N: My muse, Maggie, is simple girl. All she likes are plot bunnies and reviews. So be kind to Maggie and feed her review cookies please.
Big thanks to my beta Lbandoly for her hard work. She has spent countless hours editing and providing plot help for my stories. She makes my writing possible.
No copyright infringement intended. All characters are the property of JKR, Scholastic, and any number of other companies with more money than I've ever dreamed of seeing. I didn't make any money off of this, so please don't sue.
Morning dawned sunny, bright, and loud at Malfoy manor for the first time possibly ever. Draco groaned and pulled the pillow over his head. All the noise had to be cosmic payback for not going to bed till well on five in the morning. Yes the gods were out to smite him for not going to bed at a reasonable hour…
Ginny walked in and laughed at the sight of the lump beneath the covers that undoubtedly was her husband trying to escape back to the dream worlds of Morpheus. "No you don't mister. If I have to be up with this loud bunch, so do you. Come on now, up and out with you."
Draco groaned and pulled the pillow away from his face. "Ginny whose bright idea was it to invite all your nieces and nephews to spend the night last night?"
"Your mother's. And for your information they are not all here. Several have already left with their parents to go get dressed for the day."
"You are far too chipper this morning.
"I love it. The atmosphere is just electric this morning. Isn't it brilliant?"
"No. Our own children are loud enough on a normal day, but this is insane and I have a hangover."
"Well whose fault is that? I told you not to try and drink Charlie under the table. But nope, you were so sure you could tolerate your own vintage better than anyone else could. You'll listen to me one day. Until then, you must suffer."
"What time is it?"
"It's a little after nine in the morning. You really need to get up, get dressed, and have a cup of coffee. Everyone is meeting in front of Gringotts at eleven."
"Are up, dressed, fed, and off doing their thing with their cousins. They have been up since seven or so apparently."
"The rest of the loud little cretins?"
"Some of them are still asleep. The ones that went tearing down the hall a bit ago that woke you, I think were Harry and Hermione's twins but I won't swear to it. I was trying to avoid getting run over."
"Ah. Nice. Answer something for me."
"Did I really see my mother and godfather going into her room last night before we came to bed or was that my inebriated mind playing silly buggers with me?"
"No you saw it and so did at least one of my brothers. But I guarantee you, that wasn't the biggest stir to be caused by them in the past twenty-four hours."
"Then what was?" Draco sat up in bed, his finely muscled chest rippling as he moved. "Surely a few dances didn't cause a big fuss already."
"No, but them coming down to breakfast holding hands did."
Draco laughed. That piece of information would serve as nice blackmail material if it was ever needed. "Sounds like my little chat with him did wonders then."
"I would agree. You'll have to be rewarded for that one sometime soon."
"I like the sound of that."
"You'll like the sight of it more. I'm sure I can work last night's heels into the equation somewhere."
"Luv you know better than to talk like that first thing in the morning."
"I do. I'm sorry. I really don't have time to do anything about it just now. Plus you're hung over."
"Please. You know you want a quickie, possibly in the shower."
"I really should go check on the kids."
"Aren't most of their parents here? Let them watch their own children."
"I was referring to ours."
"They are old enough to care for themselves for a few moments. Please."
"No, but I promise if you're a good boy I'll give you some extra special fun in a few days when we are back home and settled in."
Draco shook his head knowing he wasn't getting any this morning. "I'm gonna hold you to that witch."
She laughed. "I would expect nothing less."
Two hours and more than a couple harried moments later every Weasley grandchild could be found standing with their parents and aunts and uncles in front of Gringotts bank. Arthur stood on one of the steps over looking the mess of family in front of him. He wasn't sure how this particular tradition had begun but loved it none the less. Now for the first time ever he had all his children and grandchildren here to take part in the insanity.
Arthur cleared his throat. "Alright everyone, it's eleven now. Molly's made a picnic lunch large enough to feed the whole of the Ministry to enjoy so set your watches to meet at the park at one under the tree grove. You older kids, if you're not going to be shopping with your parents do be mindful of the time. I don't want to have to send out a search party for you so we can all eat lunch together. Molly and I will be at the park the entire time you all are out shopping. If the little ones get bored just come drop them off with us and go back to finishing your shopping."
There were mummers of 'yes sir' and sure 'grandpa' among the children as he dismissed them to all be on there way.
Draco and Ginny gathered their children over to one side. "So I think we should get the worst out of the way first."
Draco groaned. "Madam Malkin's it is."
Ginny smiled. "You read my mind and no you and Isaac may not go find something better to do. Inevitably you're going to want to go into Quality Quidditch Supply so think of it as prepayment for that stop."
"You're one seriously evil witch when you want to me."
"Yes. I'm an equal opportunity tormentor," she said with a grin.
Draco shook his head muttering under his breath about crazy witches and shopping trips.
The group made there way into Madam Malkin's shop lucky to find it relatively empty. There were a few others shopping from the racks and a young lady on the block being measured by one of Madam Malkin's many assistants. The woman in question herself walked through a curtained doorway that led to the back of the shop just as Ginny and Draco walked in the front door.
"Well bless my tartan socks. I didn't expect to ever see you back in my shop Mr. Malfoy."
"Good day Madam Malkin." Draco smiled and extended his hand to shake the older woman's.
The woman took the proffered hand and shook it vigorously before turning to Ginny. "Well you must be the Minister's daughter. I can't say I've seen you more than once. The year of the Tri Wizard Tournament I do believe."
Ginny nodded her head. "Yes ma'am."
"Well now, what can I do you for?"
Draco buckled down and got to business. "Serenity needs first year robes for Hogwarts."
"I should say that's what everyone's coming in today for. I assume you wish for custom robes. I don't recall you being an off-the-rack shopper Mr. Malfoy."
Ginny took over. Draco had never quite learned that you don't always need everything to be tailored to suit. "Off the rack will be fine for her daily robes, but she needs two sets of dress robes. One set in black and the other in whatever color she prefers."
Madam nodded barely repressing a giggle at having seen the man heed the way to his wife. The boy she had known would never have agreed with Ginny's order. It was nice to see someone had tamed him. "Certainly. Serenity step with me please. We'll get you measured and then you can pick the fabric for the robe your mum is letting you choose."
Serenity went without fuss and stepped up on the block. Suddenly she was accosted by a magical measuring tape. Furiously the tape flicked and extended around her as Madam Malkin made notes of every measurement it took. "Well you're a tad tall for your age my dear. Not to be unexpected I'm sure. Your father and your mother's father are fairly tall men. As was your father's father."
Sere simply stood still not daring move with the enchanted measuring tape still flitting around her. When Madam Malkin had gotten all the measurements she needed she directed Serenity off the box and over to a table covered in large fabric sample books. "You have any of these to choose from." Madam Malkin flipped open the first of the heavy books. "I might suggest you stay away from pastels. With your hair color they would wash you out."
Serenity nodded and looked over to her mother. Ginny walked over and began going through the books with her daughter. Kat, Isaac, and Draco browsed the shop while the two settled on a fabric for the second robe. Draco was mildly surprised that Katharine hadn't requested robes of her own. But then again considering the fuss she had put up with her mother went clothes shopping the weeks before the trip he figured maybe she thought it best to not push her luck.
Serenity hopping up from here chair and rushed over to her father. "We're done. Mom wants your opinion because we have four we can't decide between."
Draco joined his wife and his daughter, with their younger daughter and son in tow. "What's this about indecision?"
Ginny pointed to the four open books all with different samples. "Which do you think's best?"
"I don't know. But I can tell you that puce fabric is not it."
"Sere you okay with dropping that one?"
She nodded her head to agree. Ginny shut that book and sat it to the side. Isaac figured his could pitch in his opinion. "The amethyst purple and the navy would both be good, but the navy's a bit close to her black ones. Seems kind of crazy to have two so close to alike."
Draco agreed with his son and thus went the navy. Sere was left to pick between the amethyst and a maroon red. "I think I like the purple best then."
"Sounds good pumpkin. Let's tell Madam Malkin so we can get out of here." Ginny completed the order with Madam Malkin who informed her to return to the shop after 2 PM to pick up their order. Daily robes that best fit the measurements would be selected from the racks and would be waiting when they arrived as well.
Back in the alley Draco looked at his watch. They still had an hour till they were all due to meet at the park for lunch. "Where to now Gin?"
"Flourish and Blots I believe. Might as well get that out of the way. Sere do you have the book list?"
Sere pulled the list from her jeans pocket and waved it around. "Yes mom."
The group made their way down the alley and into the bookshop. While Sere and Gin went through the shop gathering all the textbooks that Serenity would need the others looked around. Isaac drifted over to the transfiguration texts. Draco found several potions volumes that he thought might be useful in stepping up Katharine's potions lessons once they returned home. Kat on the other hand found a nice seat on the stairs next to one of her cousins while everyone else shopped.
Soon enough the group had made their purchases. Draco shrunk the bags of heavy books and placed them in his pocket. They had just enough time to dash in the stationary store to gather parchment, quills, and ink before heading to the other end of the Alley to enjoy lunch with the rest of Ginny's family.
The meal was an animated affair with children running and playing while the parents enjoyed a final day with their children before the start of a new year at Hogwarts. When the meal was finished slowly different ones began drifting back into the Alley to finish their shopping. Draco, Ginny, and her parents where the only adults left remaining in park. Though several of the younger children remained under Molly's watchful eye playing and laughing together.
Draco and Ginny sat together, Ginny between Draco's legs, her back leaned against his chest. His strong arms were wrapped around her waist. "What do you think of letting Kat get a pet?"
"I was thinking since Isaac's going to be leaving for school in a few days with Sere at Hogwarts Kat's going to be lonely. A pet might help her feel less alone."
"I guess it depends. What did you have in mind?"
"A kitten. Something that can be house trained. Then when it's her turn to come to Hogwarts she'll be able to bring it with her."
Draco shifted Ginny just enough so that he could see her face when she turned to the right. "Are you going to allow Sere a familiar?"
"Of course I am. We let Isaac his first year."
Draco shook his head. That owl was the bane of their existence till the bloody bird had managed to get itself killed. Draco still wasn't entirely certain the ruddy bird hadn't found a way to off itself. "You know if Sere doesn't pick an owl, we'll need to purchase another?"
"I've already considered that. I was sort thinking we should anyway. We have family to send messages to now after all."
"Three new pets it is then unless Katharine decides she doesn't want a cat."
Ginny laughed at her husbands attempts at denial. "I'm sure she will."
"You're probably right. I should stop trying to wish she won't."
"No, you're right. She needs something to give some affection to with Sere and Isaac both away at school. It's a good idea." Draco kissed the top of Ginny's head. "We should get going then. It's nearing four. We still need to visit the cauldron shop and the apothecary for her potions kit."
"And Quality Quidditch too. See I didn't forget."
Draco laughed as he nudged her to get her moving up. "I never dreamed you would."
Ginny stood up and offered her hand to Draco to help him up. "Alright you lot, get your hugs from your grandparents. We have to finish shopping. Serenity needs to get to bed at a reasonable hour tonight."
After the children said their goodbyes to their grandparents Ginny gave her mum and dad a quick hug. "Will you be at Kings Cross to see them off in the morning?"
Molly smiled. "I never miss it."
"I'll pop over for a bit. I've taken off more time in the past two weeks than I have since the war. I can't be off all day tomorrow no matter how much I want to. Not with Harry off as well."
"The wizarding world doesn't run itself huh?"
He smiled. "Not at all Gin Bug. There are days I wonder how it operates at all when I'm not there."
Ginny smiled. "See you tomorrow mom and dad."
They left Ginny's parents in the park and headed back into the Alley. "Where to first Gin?"
"Quality Quidditch. It's the closest."
Ginny was pleasantly surprised that her husband and son managed to only stay in the shop for just under half an hour. She had expected to spend no less than an hour there with them. The stop at the apothecary and cauldron shops were equally as fast. In and out trips to grab purely what was needed for Serenity's list and that was it. It helped the store proprietors kept the items sorted on tables by student year. Simply pick up what you need and pay.
Ginny gave Draco a hidden smile before announcing to their children that they had "two more stops" to make before they returned to the manor for dinner. "Eeylops Owl Emporium and Van Norse Familiars and More."
Serenity smiled. "I can have an owl?"
"Or a cat or toad. The choice is yours."
"I would rather have an owl I think."
Draco smiled. Serenity was often terribly practical when it came to picking one thing over another. This proved to be no exception. "Then and owl it is."
Ginny looked at Draco. "Do you want to tell her?"
"Tell who," both of their daughters responded.
Katharine's face brightened. "Tell me."
Draco kneeled in front of his youngest daughter. "Your mum and I thought since you're sister and brother are going to be away at school most of the year you might like a pet of your own to help keep you company. Would you like a kitten?"
"I can have a kitten?"
"Only if you agree to try your hardest to take care of it yourself."
Katharine started bouncing as she threw her arms around her father's neck. "I promise," she squealed in his ear.
"Then it's settled. Let's head into Van Norse so you can take your pick. Then we'll go next door to Eeylops to pick an owl for Serenity and one for us to have at home. It's past time we bought a new one."
An hour later Kat was the proud owner of a Persian kitten that was terribly timid and sweet. The kitten sat curled in Kat's arms purring as Katharine stroked it's back. "You're such a sweet kitty. Don't you think so Sere?"
"She's sort of cute. I still like my owl best." The owl in question was almost solidly white save for a black ring around its right eye. For some reason she said it reminded her of the Tootsie Roll owl.
The family owl was a black eagle owl that Draco said reminded him of the owl he had as a child. Ginny doubted anyone that went to school with them could have forgotten that owl. It came every day without fail to deposit boxes of confections to Draco from his mother.
They flooed back to the manor from the public floo in the Leaky Caldron since they had animals with them.
The rest of the evening was spent just spending time together before their middle child left for Hogwarts. When the last light was extinguished and the moonlight the only light left to guide their way Ginny laid next to her husband tucked tightly in his arms.
"Are you ready to let her go?"
"I didn't think you were. I kept expecting you to buy something she needs then break down crying because of it all day."
"I nearly did in Madam Malkin's shop then again in the owl shop."
"Are you going to be okay tomorrow?"
"Probably not. I'm going to end up being one of those mothers who gives her a hundred-thousand warnings then hugs her till the train nearly leaves her I'm afraid."
Draco laughed. That's almost exactly how his mother had acted the morning of his first trip on the Hogwarts Express. "You'll be fine."
Draco poked his head in his son's room. "Isaac, we're leaving in fifteen minuets."
"Yes, sir." Isaac got up from the chair he was sitting in reading and moved over to grab his shoes from next to the bed.
Ginny passed Draco in the hall. "Is he ready?"
"He's putting on his shoes now."
"Good. Is the hired car here?"
"Yeah. I just finished putting her trunks in it. Can I say I never needed three trunks to go to school? What all does she have in there?"
"Knowing Sere, everything."
Draco shook his head. All of his children packed like they were going to never come back when they went somewhere. It never failed to astound him. "Where's Kat?"
"With your mum and Severus eating breakfast."
Draco arched a brow. Somehow he missed the fact that his godfather was in residence for the second morning in a row. "Is she now?"
"Oh stop, let your mother and Severus be happy."
"I never intended on anything else pet. Where's Sere?"
"Uric said she was up at six pestering him for breakfast. She's eaten, requested Uric pack her a snack to take on the train. Seems she had a liking for your mum's chocolate biscuits that your mum thinks no one realizes she bakes instead of Uric." Ginny stopped, took a breath, and started again. "Let's see, what else has Sere been up to? She's been out to the stables with your mother to say goodbye to the horses, made her bed without being asked, and is now pacing the sitting room. I think it's safe to say she's ready to go."
"Well that's a good thing. Do you need to do anything before we go?"
"Grab my sweater. It's a tad chilly this morning compared to the past couple days."
"Grab my jacket then too will you?"
She stretched up on her tip toes and gave her husband a quick peck. "Will do."
The ride from the manor to Kings Cross was nothing short of nerve wracking for Sere. The closer they got to their destination the more she looked and felt as if she wanted to ask her father to pull over so she could toss her breakfast. She tried to hide it by talking about how excited she was; which in itself wasn't a lie but not entirely the truth. She had never been away from her parents for longer than a couple weeks and even then she had always had Kat or Kat and Isaac with her. Being gone for three months without seeing her brother, sister, or parents frightened her horribly.
When they reached the station they loaded her trunks and pet cage on a trolley and moved through the busy station to the hidden gateway to platform 9 and ¾'s. The transition through the gateway felt like walking through a waterfall and was in her words "absolutely brilliant."
Gathered on the far end of the platform, the entirety of the Weasley family was already waiting as Draco, Ginny, Narcissa, and the children approached. Molly pulled Ginny and Draco over to speak to the parents of a muggleborn that seemed entirely overwhelmed by everything around them. Meanwhile Sere took a seat on her trunk and tried her best to look less like she wanted to puke and more like she was actually excited.
Charlie laughed as he noticed the all too familiar look on Sere's face. "Well girly are you ready for Hogwarts?"
Sere smiled. "Yes Uncle Charlie." She hesitated just the slightest bit when she answered her uncle.
"Don't worry you'll love it. You're even luckier than Gin and the rest of us were, you'll have a whole lot more family to keep you company than we did."
"They might not want to talk to me when we get there."
"Why ever not?"
"Dad says he thinks I'll get sorted into Slytherin. Mumma agrees with him. No one makes it sound like anyone from Slytherin gets liked by anyone outside their house."
"When your mum, dad, uncles, and I went to school that was the case. Shoot it was until your cousins all started. But no matter what house you end up in, you'll always have your cousins to depend on."
"Even in Slytherin."
"Most certainly. Xavier's in Slytherin."
"I thought all my cousins would be in Gryffindor."
"Not a chance with this group. The only house we don't have someone in is Hufflepuff not that there would be anything wrong with being in Hufflepuff it just hasn't happened… yet."
It wasn't long before the familiar sight of the red steam engine came into view. Sere grabbed a quick hug from her uncles and grandparents as her trunks were loaded onto the train.
Isaac gave his sister a quick hug and promised to send letters to mum and to owl to her as often as he could. Kat gave her a hug and promised to make sure that that kitty stayed out of her sister's room so nothing would get messed up while she was gone.
Draco grabbed and hugged Sere and promised her that the moment she finished first year he would buy her the broom they had been looking at the day before if she promised to write home every week.
"If you start getting home sick just remember Christmas isn't that long off. We'll be here to pick you up the moment the train arrives."
Ginny kneeled down in front of her daughter, wrapping her arms around her. "You'll do wonderfully. I'm going to miss you so much my big girl." Silent tears streaked down both mother and daughter's face. "I love you. Don't forget to write, often missy. If you need anything just speak to your head of house. That's what they are there for. Don't forget to write your grandmothers from time to time. They'll want to hear from you as much as your father and I do."
Sere nodded her head against her mother's shoulder. "I will, I promise. I'll do my best. You'll be proud of me."
"I am always proud of you Serenity."
Ginny pushed a stray lock of hair back behind her daughter's ear. "I love you too Serenity Grace."
A man's voice could be heard over the crowd. "Last call for boarding the Hogwarts Express. Destination Hogsmead Scotland."
Draco took Ginny's hand to encourage her to let Sere go. "You need to go ahead a find a compartment Sere. It's time to go."
Sere through her arms around bother her parent's. "I love you."
Draco and Ginny smiled. "We love you too baby girl. Be safe and do try to not cause too much trouble please."
Sere smiled and turned away. She stopped and called back to her family from the top step of the train, "See you at Christmas everyone."
"You too baby."
Ginny, Draco, Isaac, and Kat stood and watched as the train began to move. Slowly at first till the train had cleared the platform. Watching until the rear of the train had disappeared into the distance.
"Let's go home Gin."
She nodded and knew he didn't just mean back to the manor but back to their home; back to Shadowy Secrets Vineyards and to their quiet lives in the rolling hills of Italy.
Life at Shadowy Secrets would never be the same but Ginny could honestly say that it had honestly changed for the better.
The Review Follow-Up:
Wow it's hard to believe The Past Comes to Visit is finally over. When I started writing this story I wrote the first seven chapters in one sitting. I turned them over to my beta who instantly fell in love. She was a constant force constantly pushing me to write more. She was there when I couldn't figure where to take the story next with ideas that more often than not got worked into the story. It took me just about 6 weeks to write this story thanks to her constant urging. The day I turned this chapter over to her I began posting the first one's here. I'll admit the reviews for the first couple chapters made me smile. Soon the sheer number of reviews coming in astounded me. My ficlets have never drawn mass attention and What Happened to Ginny never pulled this kind of attention. So to say I was stunned and amazed would have been an understatement. I have come to know you all by name. I have been looking forward to each of your reviews everyday, knowing that certain reviewers I can count on like clockwork; a fact that still amazes me.
BIG, huge, wondrous, gracious, thanks to AuntAnnie, Robin, blissfulxsin, sweet gurl, wildxbabe, JessicaMalfoy87, thepersonunderurbed, Carly, and Dracoandginnylover24 for your reviews this chapter and to all those who have reviewed for every other chapter. You guys inspire me in ways I can't begin to describe.
Robin – I'm glad you liked the ball. It was one of my favorite parts of this story to write.
Sweet gurl – I'm glad you loved Narcissa/Snape and no I didn't name Blaise's girl. Just some nameless witch. She can be just about anyone you want I guess.
Wildxbabe – glad to see my N/SS obsession is so well liked.
Carly – I've always felt N/SS should get together. Since every wife knows the power of her bed, it seems cute to let Ginny lord it over Draco to him to push the two together. LOL. I'm a twisted cookie.