DISCLAIMER - THIS FAN FICTION IS RATED 'M'
Harry Potter and all related characters are the property of JK Rowling.
This story alone, is mine.
Chapter 42: Partings And Tears.
Say you'll share with me one
love, one lifetime . . .
Lead me, save me
from my solitude . . .
Say you want me with you,
here beside you . . .
Anywhere you go
let me go too -
The Phantom – The point of no return.
Phantom of the Opera - Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Victoria breathed deeply, the pain was subsiding now. Her head was spinning and her back ached. The pounding if her heart slowed as the pain melted away. Her stomach felt as if it had just been used as a punching bag and she had just been given more evidence, as if she had needed it, that this was Blaise's child. "I think he was kicking."
"What is he, a prize fighter?" Molly had said looking around at the crowd that surrounded them. "I think we best get out of here." She looked to Hermione, they were in her hands, she had lived in this world.
"Everything's ok." Hermione called to the crowd. "She's just pregnant, come on Vicky, let's get you back." Helping Victoria up Hermione now wished she had not been so hung up over having a non-magical picnic basket, all of this fuss because she didn't want it to serve it's self. "Molly, can you hail a taxi.?" She saw the look from Molly who just stared out into the road.
Molly knew that holding you wand out wasn't the done thing and the only other thing she could think to do was aparate back to Grimmuald Place, but hail a taxi, she had no idea how to do that. "I'll take Victoria, do you want to... hail a taxi?" She smiled at Hermione, a warm smile that an old woman would give a young child who was helping her cross the road.
Hermione held out her hand, a black cab pulled up to the road side, large and spacious, the kind that you could fit a wheel chair in, the good old London Black Cabs with the little yellow light built into the roof, the light blinked yellow as Hermione helped Molly get Victoria into the back of the cab. She could smell a sweet rose and jasmine scent rising from the carpet.
"Where to ladies?" Asked the portly driver with his long black hair combed down his back.
"Charing Cross Road." Sitting down beside Victoria, she noticed Molly sat watching out of the window as the pulled down King street. "Just outside Bedlam Book Shop please." She looked at Victoria as the cab swung onto Long Acre, she could see the colour returning to the young woman's cheeks.
Molly was still memorised by the ride, she had never wanted to get into that car of her husbands, but now, now she could some how see the appeal of it, the soft seats and not having to worry where you were going to land. She watched as the tall buildings lining St Martins Lane ran away from her as she passed into a narrow road that lead to Charing Cross Road.
Victoria had let her head drop back and was breathing deeply as the cab swung left and drove up Charring Cross Road. She could feel Hermione watching her, and felt a little silly for causing so much trouble over a little pregnancy pain. She watched as the buildings dropped back above her and she felt the cab come to a stop.
"That'll be five twenty-five." The Driver said, his long black hair waved as he motioned towards a little slot with a tray in the separation screen.
Hermione reached in her purse and, opening the second compartment, as Molly helped Victoria out of the Cab, pulled out a five pound note and a two pound coin. Dropping it into the tray she smiled. "Keep the change." Sliding out of the Cab to join her friends on the pavement in front of book shop she heard the driver thank her and once she had closed the door, the big black Cab drove off down the road.
"How are you feeling?" Molly asked Victoria.
"I'm better, thanks." Turning to Hermione. "Should we take a walk around Diagon Alley before we get the men? They won't be too happy about being interrupted so soon." Victoria didn't want to end their day so soon either, she was enjoying herself, it may be a long time before she could just wander around the shops with Hermione and Molly. As soon as Blaise heard she wasn't very well, even though she was fine now, he would have her housebound. He could see the others thinking about this and from the look on Hermione's face, she had come to the same conclusion.
"I think we should at least let the men know." Molly turned to Victoria and Hermione, their faces looking saddened. "That we're going around Diagon Alley."
"What about Victoria?" Hermione wasn't sure if she should ask this, she knew Molly had an innate sense of right and this may just tip her to telling Blaise what had happened, but it was a risk worth taking, she didn't want Molly feeling as if she should have said something, but didn't.
"What about Victoria?" Molly smiled again, a broad smile that showed her teeth, "You think I ran off and told Arthur every time I had a twinge? Good Lord, he'd never have let me out of the house if I had."
Laughing together about the things woman never tell men, they walked into the the Leaky Cauldron and then, after a brief hello and a few kisses, onto more shopping in Diagon Alley.
Walking out of the fire at Grimmuald Place, Blaise held Victoria's hand and he felt relaxed, for the first time in months, he felt good about everything. His large hands encompassed hers and her head rested on his shoulder as they walked to their room to finish packing.
Draco watched his big friend leave the room as he stood with Hermione. He was so glad she was his wife, but something felt heavy on his heart. Blaise was moving to Austria, not exactly a floo trip away. This would be the first time Blaise would be so far away, it would be the first time Blaise would not walk through the door at the end of the day. He turned to his wife and kissed her softly on the forehead. "You ready for this?"
"Yes." She smiled at her husband, she was looking forward to starting her new life, she knew it wasn't exactly a wizarding community they were going to be living in, but most wizards lived in houses surrounded by.. well.. muggles. She already had arrangements for them to go over to her parents for a meal later next week and she hoped it would make Draco feel a little better. "Let's go get out bags."
Draco heard Harry and Charlie step out of the fire with Molly on their hells telling them off for acting childish. Draco smirked as he recalled them trying to steal a chair from the Leaky Cauldron and the barrage of ill fitting names that Molly had called them considering it was her chair and she was still in it at the time. "We'll need a house elf." Draco realised.
"What? oh.." Hermione hadn't thought about it until now, she was not one for having a creature bound in servitude to you. "What about your family's?"
Draco thought about it, after Dobby his family had got a new house elf. Draco didn't remember seeing him when they had been at the Manor. "Scuttle." He called out. "Scuttle!" He waited or the crack that foretold the arrival of a house elf.
"He's dead, Draco." Molly laid a hand on Draco's shoulder. "You remember that little gargoyle at the foot of the stairs in the Manor?" She felt sorry for him, the last remnants of him home was now truly gone from his life, the symbol of what made him a Malfoy, a little elf in rags, it was gone.
Draco thought back, the little stone gargoyle he had passed as he climbed the stairs. "Oh Merlin." He hadn't even realised it was him, he just thought it was an ornament. It seemed odd, he had never cared for the little creature but, now he felt that he should have, he felt he should have given the little thing some time and attention, maybe thought about it earlier. Draco thought of the little creature, waiting in that big house for his master to come home and when he had. He had killed his waiting servant.
"Lucius petrified him so he could not come to you if you called." Harry had lit a cigarette and was sat in a high backed chair as he spoke. "Fidelis went in looking for him a long time ago and he witnessed it. After that, it took us an hour to convince Fidelis that we were not going to do the same." Harry looked around, his soft eyes wavering over Draco. Everything that made the young blonde man what he was, now laid in ashes. "I'll have a word with Hagrid and find out where you can pick one up from. Don't think they'll be in the classified section of the Sunday papers."
"I'm sorry Draco, I really am." Hermione held her husband, maybe she would like to have a house elf, it would help with the house work.
"We'll see, but thank you anyway Potter." He felt his wife squeeze his hand, it felt good. Walking from the room he headed up to his room and gather his bags and the last bits that he had left in the room. The room that had been his for many nights now, on and off.
Draco walked out of his room, his small sack over his shoulder, Hermione had gone down before him with a small suitcase and Fidelis had helped by transporting the large chest down to the drawing room. He pulled the door closed, taking one last look at the room where he had felt so much love and reached so many heights of ecstasy. The door opened and Victoria stepped out. "Hello Fr... Victoria."
She giggled and smiled at Draco. "You will learn." She gave him a broad grin.
Draco looked down and raised his eyebrows as if to let her know he would, one day.
"See you downstairs." She said as she tottered down carrying a small bag no bigger than a make-up case for a purse. Her soft summer dress flowed around her legs and he slippers made no sound on the soft carpet as she descended to the second floor and the drawing room.
Blaise walked out of the bedroom and closed the door. He smiled at Draco, but the smile didn't last when eh saw the look on Draco's face. "What's wrong, mate?" The large black wizard clapped his hand on Draco's shoulder and shook it a little.
"Nothing... Just... " This was a new start for all of them, Draco knew he was feeling bad because he would have to lose Blaise as constant companion, but maybe it was for the best. "I'm gonna miss you, big fella." Draco slapped Blaise on his muscular stomach as they turned to walk down the stairs.
"Don't be daft." Blaise said as he lifted the large rucksack over his shoulder. "I'm not going to another world, I'll be in England mainly, still want the kids to go to Hogwarts."
"Kids?" Draco was sure Victoria had said nothing about having more than one, "I thought she was only having the one, not twins?"
"You think I'm gonna stop at one?" Blaise winked and gave that half side grin that made him look like a evil overlord with a plan to take over the world. "You coming over for Christmas?"
"I don't know." Draco hadn't thought about what they would do for Christmas. It seemed an eternity away. "Will you be in England?"
"No, mate. Spending Christmas how it should be, in the snow." Blaise could just see it now, the women in the house knitting booties and hats for the little one while Draco and him had a snowball fight in the front garden. "You can help me get a nice tree from the mountains." Punching his friend lightly in the arm he could feel the sorrow he friend was feeling, they had both believed they would have lived together forever and for a while , it had looked like a nice idea, but that wasn't mean to be. Blaise knew they would remain friends, close friends, but their time together had come to an end.
Draco wanted to hug Blaise, just once, to hug him and let him know how much the big guy meant to him. Blaise was the closest thing he had to family now. Glancing round, Draco made sure no one was in the stairwell. "Blaise?"
Blaise turned and Draco flung his arms around the large wizard, half expecting to get thrown off, but Blaise wrapped his arms round Draco. They both knew what they were losing and what they were gaining. Blaise squeezed Draco, a manly squeeze that drove the breath from Draco's lungs.
"I love ya, mate." He had never been close to anyone but Blaise knew him, and he knew Blaise. Like brothers knew one and other and that bond had stayed with them, they were brothers and loved each other like brothers.
"Me too." Blaise said as he released the blonde man from his grip. "I'll always be your big brother." Blaise made a show of flexing his muscles and they both walked off down the stairs.
It was five fifty five and they were all gathered in the drawing room, Charlie and Molly were chatting to Victoria and George was placing a black marble dragon on the side table at the back of the room, careful. Harry was stood with Hermione, his arms round her as he wished her luck. "See you later, Mione. Have a great time and I hope you settle in ok." He felt his heart lurch as he held her, she was going onto a life that she wanted. He could feel her start to sob a little. "Hey, what's wrong? You're not gong a million miles away you know. You come visit when ever you like, I'm only at the end of a chimney."
Hermione pulled away, tears streaked her face, she felt silly. "I know that, it's just. Well.. so much has changed since we met. I never thought this day would come." She wanted to stop crying, she knew she would set Molly and Victoria off but she couldn't help it. Hugging Harry once more, she promised he could come visit as soon as she was settled in. Walking over to Molly, Hermione put her arms round her.
Molly could see the tears falling from Hermione and tried hard to hold hers back. "You keep in touch now, you hear?" She felt Hermione nod and steppe back to allow Charlie in.
Looking down at Hermione he could see his mum start to cry. "Right, I've told Draco and Blaise that I'm going to hold a barbecue in the spring and I want all of you to come over for it." He hugged her. His shirt still wet from Victoria's tears that had fallen on him. "What is it with you three, you're acting like you're moving to Mars or something?"
"That's women for ya." Said George who was giving Victoria a squeeze. Stepping away he took Draco's hand. "Look after her." He motioned toward Hermione who was saying good bye to Seamus. Tears still running down her face. George hoped that with Draco and Hermione leaving for Burnham and Blaise leaving with Victoria for Austria, that life may return to normal again. What ever that was those days.
"I have to be going." Seamus shook Harry's hand and then stepped into the fire. "Take care you lot." He dropped a handful of powder and the green flames erupted, a few moments later, her was gone.
Molly wiped her eyes with a handkerchief and turned to Harry. "So, this is it."
Harry nodded and looked across the couples who were about to leave his house for their new lives. He didn't want to see them go, his home had felt so full of life since they had been here, hectic but full of life.
"I'll see you soon, let me know if anything happens." Hermione held Victoria. "Remember, if you need me, I'm only a port key away."
"I'll be fine, I'll let you know when I get close, you can come stay if you want." Victoria liked that idea, her baby being delivered by her friend, she hadn't really thought about it and now she did, she wondered if Hermione could even deliver a baby.
"I don't know why she'll need to stay." Blaise said as he shook Draco's hand. "It'll take her minutes to ride a floo to the mansion." He saw the look from Victoria. "We've discussed this, the baby's being born in England. And that's my final word."
Leaning into Hermione, Victoria whispered. "But not mine."
"You'll have to learn to fly a little better now." Draco said as he held Blaise hand to shake it. "It'll be easier than port key all the time." Draco smiled at the thought of Blaise carrying a baby on his broomstick. Draco sighed, he had never wanted to see this day, but now it had come. The battle had been won and they both had different lives to live. He wanted to order Blaise to stay in England, and Blaise would probably comply, but that wouldn't be fair, on any of them and it wasn't like he was moving to Austria for good. "I'll fly over and see you in a week."
"You bloody better, I'll need a drinking buddy, stuck up there alone." He glanced at his wife, who had heard his last sentence. "Vi's lovely, but she's not much of firewhiskey drinker." He saw his wife smile and he felt warm. This was it for a long time, he knew Draco and he would probably pop over soon, but it wasn't exactly fair to expect him to fly over all the time. Blaise knew he was going to have to learn to fly, if for nothing other than an easy life.
The clock began to chime six. "Right you lot, time to go." Harry flicked his ash in the glass tray and stepped over to the group. "Blaise, Vicky, grab hold of that dragon. It's your portkey, good for one use only. If you want to come back by it, owl me and I'll have a word with Kingsley." Heading toward Victoria he gave her one last hug and shook her husbands hand. He turned to Hermione and Draco. "Your place should be connected now." He motioned toward the fire place where Fidelis had placed there bags. Barton appeared with a crack and stood on the table next to the dragon.
"Thought I'd lost you." Blaise said as he looked at the little elf. "Pity." He felt Victoria elbow connect with his stomach and smiled at her. Taking hold of her hand he grasped the portkey.
"Have fun." Sirius said, from the portrait on the wall.
"Be careful." Lupin added, and smiled at them all.
Draco held Hermione's hand, soon they would be starting their new life, and he had such high hopes for it. Smiling at Blaise he could sense the sadness that was showing in his eyes and could do nothing to hide it.
"Goodbye." Victoria smiled at Hermione.
"See you soon." Hermione smiled back but she couldn't help feeling loss.
"Goodbye, safe trips." Harry said as the clock stroke the fourth chime.
Hermione threw the powder onto the floor and called out. "Esplanade." The green flames engulfed them. She could feel Draco squeeze her hand as the drawing room faded away behind the flames. She let a single tear fall from her cheek into the abyss.
The final stroke of six chimed in the hallway and the marble dragon vanished along with Blaise, Victoria and Barton. The green flames died and he looked around the room. The house seemed much bigger, the room had got larger in those last few seconds and a chill had seeped into the house. He surveyed the room, the red walls and the portrait hanging above the fire, Sirius and Lupin were playing cards, the clock had fallen silent. He felt the loss, the whole house seemed to feel the loss. Sitting down Harry looked out into the garden. He heard the door open but did not look away from the rose bush in the garden.
Dudley sided up to the chair and followed Harry's gaze out of the window. He wasn't sure what he should be looking at, it just looked like an normal rose bush. This had been the first time since he had arrived that he had been able to sit down with his younger cousin, he had a lot to ask, but now didn't feel like the time. "So, what's been going on?"
Harry glanced at the large man stood next to him, flicking his lighter he watched at the flame lit the end of the cigarette. Drawing on the fresh stick of tobacco he sat back and smiled. "Nothing, Dudley. Just life as usual."
There you go, THE END:-
Please R&R and tell me two things ;
1 – what you thought of this chapter alone;
2 – what you thought of the story as a whole;- what did you like about it?; what did you hate about it?; what you would like to see more of?; what would you like to see less of?
To all my avid readers and reviewers – I thank you all; --FILL NAMES HERE-- You have made this story worth the writing.
And last, but, by no means least;
I would like to thank; Orbthesela; without whom, this story would have not been as passionate or chilling, or as legible, and for her support and her untiring betaring. For all her hours of corrections and wearing out the 'H' on her keyboard, I will learn there is a 'H' in while, I promise. I thank you for your time and effort and for those sections of narrative that you pulled from that bottomless pit you call an imagination. For all the things you reminded me I had done in earlier chapters that I needed to explain and for keeping better track of my story than my notes did.
For all of this, I thank you.
May the wind always be at your back.
Jonathan J Strange.
And just before I go, here's a little Egyptian blessing on all of you;
May your God go with you, in all those dark places you must walk.