Author's Notes: Thanks to all the people who reviewed!!! Whooo!!! I just can't believe i've garnered so many reviews just for the fist chapter. And um... I'm really, really sorry for the grammar errors and things... not very good at that. This is actually the revised edition. And Blaise Zabini does not belong to Cassie. sorry!!! She belongs to JK... so i think this is it... All disclaimers apply... Harry Potter is not mine, this is just for fun, not making money from them... so please don't sue.
Special thanks to my beta-reader Alli. This chapter is for you, girl!!!
italized words symbolizes thoughts and memories, ok? :)
Serpent's Bride I: The Condition
… Ginny sat impatiently atop her broom waiting for the golden snitch, the undeniable adrenaline rush coursing through her vein. The score was 70 to 60 with Gryffindor leading. She then gazed at Harry just 8 feet above her, flying around and around, no doubt searching for the snitch as well. There was no way she could deny the fact that Harry looked so good when he was flying. His hair, sticking out messily, was being tossed freely by the wind. His green eyes, which was quite visible, looked determined… Ginny flushed and turned away. Well, there that was nothing surprising really. She was Ginny Weasly and Ginny Weasly thought Harry would look good in anything and everything, even if he wore a sack to the Yule Ball.
"Where's the goddamn snitch?" She heard Colin Creevey yelling. "All we need
now is the goddamn snitch!"
"Where's the goddamn snitch?" She heard Colin Creevey yelling. "All we need now is the goddamn snitch!"
"We must win this game." She thought as she watched Dean hitting the bludger, steering it away from Harry, the Gryffindor Seeker. "This is Harry's last year… we must win this game!" She added fervently while scanning the air, yet again, for the snitch.
And then she saw it, she saw something shining just 7 feet above the goal post. Then two blurry colors, green and red, were zooming towards it. Ginny let out a whoop of excitement upon seeing Harry ahead of Malfoy, the Slytherin Seeker. It was without a doubt that Harry was a better flier than Malfoy. Even the Slytherin team, much to their displeasure, accepted that fact.
Ginny's jaw dropped with amazement when she saw Harry going in for the dive. So sure that Harry would get the snitch, she then prepared to go after him, a new goal set in her mind.
"I should be the first one to congratulate him!" She thought fiercely as she sped towards the goal posts, her red hair playing freely against the wind.
Just then, something hard knocked against her abdomen. She felt her hands going to her stomach, a faint cry of pain coming out of her lips. Losing her grip, with her broom speeding downwards, she let out a terrified scream as she felt herself falling…
Faint cries of alarm…
Her stomach wrenching with pain…
She closed her eyes…
"It won't be long now till I feel the hard ground…" She silently said to herself, the thought of her head being squashed messily on the ground making her sick. "I hope I won't be that gross." She added. She didn't want people to remember her that way, especially Harry, since death was inevitable now. Would Harry cry? Or would he take her body in his arms, even though she was all bloody, and hug her with all his might? Would he even realize that he had loved her all along? Or would he--
She slowly opened her eyes to see who broke her fall.
The palest skin.
An arrogant smirk… ooh she knew that smirk anywhere...
"Too busy watching Potter, huh Weasly?"
"Huh? Wha—" She stuttered as she felt herself floating again.
"Didn't notice that buldger now, did you?" he drawled.
He smirked again as Ginny's dark, brown eyes focused. She let out a gasp as she saw Draco Malfoy's cold gray eyes soften.
"Put me down, you git!" She said instantly, wriggling from his grasp. Draco let out a mirthless chuckle as he tightened his grip on her waist, his eyes turning cold once again.
"We're fifty feet above the ground, Weasly." He said coolly as if she were stupid. "I may be a bastard sometimes but I'm also human, you know. And don't move too much or we'll both fall."
Realizing Malfoy had a point, Ginny reluctantly stayed still, her face pressed against his chest. She bit her lip as she smelled his cologne… distracting her, making her heady, making her feel—
"Stop it!" she hissed at herself. She must say something uh… not nice. Anything! Just to get this funny feeling off her.
"Oh, so, now you admit being a bastard." Ginny answered her voice rich with venom. "For that I give you credit."
Draco looked down on her, this time his eyes narrowed evenly. Ginny met his eyes fearlessly, matching him stare for stare. They eyed each other for a moment. One with contempt and the other one with-- then before she knew it, Draco's lips went down on hers. For a moment there, Ginny didn't move. Due Whether it was due to surprise or shock, she didn't know. She blinked once, twice before she felt her eyes closing. He tasted of coffee and cinnamon and spice from breakfast. She took a deep breath and inhaled the scent of his after-shave, the combination of his taste and his scent making her body weak. She was about to respond when she suddenly felt him pulling away. A soft cry of protest came out of her mouth much to her horror.
Draco gave an arrogant chuckle. "You like that, Weasly?" He drawled softly.
"Goddamn you!" She hissed, her anger coming as quickly as it had disappeared. She turned away, her face flushing hotly. Draco gave an amused laugh upon seeing the tints kissing her freckled skin.
"My brothers will kill you for this, Malfoy." She said angrily.
"Oh, I won't bet on it." He answered confidently as he slowly guided his broom down.
"I wouldn't be too sure of that." She answered back testily. She then felt her feet finally touching the ground. Standing up from his broom as well, Draco held her tightly by her arms, steadying her. Looking at her straight in the eyes, he smiled lazily. Ginny, once again, felt the blood rushing to her face.
"Damn it! Don't blush!" She scolded herself silently.
"Whatever." He replied nonchalantly. Then, his features turning serious, he leaned towards her, his mouth just beside her ear. "You owe me one, little weasel." He whispered.
Ginny shivered upon feeling his lips brushing against her neck. She looked at him, her eyes wide with surprise. His voice had been so soft, so silky and so… dangerous. She took a sharp intake of breath as a flash of fear, heat and excitement escalated up and down her spine.
"That's a wizard's debt, you know." He added. Then tipping his head in the most gentlemanly manner, he stepped back. "I'll see you again, Virginia."
And he was gone.
"He said my name." She thought and was horrified to find herself liking it. It was like a caress, a sensuous touch to her senses. She stood there, not moving, the alarmed and worried cries of her teammates blurring together… fading into nothingness… the pain already forgotten. She watched his disappearing figure, her fingers on her mouth, her lips still tingling… and she hadn't even slapped him!
"He… kissed me."
"Ginny? Hey, Ginny!"
"Wha-- ?" She stuttered. She looked up only to meet the blue eyes of Selena Malthus peering at her worriedly. "You were saying something?" She asked, blinking.
"Uh… I said that I'll burn this orphanage down to the ground. I'm sorry though, you're my good friend and everything, and considering you yourself built this charitable institution, but really, Ginny…" She replied sarcastically. Ginny raised her eyebrows curiously with the answer, her blank eyes searching Selena's face. Selena rolled her eyes.
"I said we're having problems with our accounts." She repeated with annoyance, bringing her quill once again on to the parchment.
"Oh…" Ginny murmured nodding her head as she peered at the parchment full of numbers. She pretended to be interested as she watched Selena's hand scribbling away furiously.
"I can't believe I'm still thinking about that again…Damn!"
"We need additional funds… and um… yeah you're brothers already gave half of their year's earnings, from the joke shop, of course…" her bookkeeper continued without looking up. She reached for her wand and began tapping the numbers one by one.
"After all these years…"
Ginny unconsciously brought her hands to her lips, her thoughts lost once again. She looked out the window, her eyes not seeing anything but the scene five years ago.
"Totaling everything.…" Selena murmured absently, unaware of Ginny's faraway look. "We still need… oh man!" She suddenly exclaimed. "We still need over a hundred thousand galleons to keep our heads afloat, Ginny!"
"Stupid Slytherin prat!"
When Selena didn't hear an answer, she impatiently tapped her friend on the shoulder with her wand. "Are you even listening?" She demanded. Ginny turned away from the office's window, her thoughts shattered.
"What?" She asked blankly.
"I said we still need over a hundred thousand galleons to keep this orphanage running." She reiterated. Then she shook her head. "What has gotten into you anyway?" She asked.
Ginny shook her head. "No, nothing." Selena let out a defeated sigh.
"We need to have get that money as soon as possible." She said bringing her eyes back to the parchment. "With all the debts we have in the bank… Gringgots will be a big problem. Believe me when I say those stupid, heartless goblins won't listen to reason this time."
With that, Ginny paled a little. "You—you mean, they will close us down?" She squeaked.
Selena looked at her, her blue eyes turning cold. "They won't just close us down, Ginny, they will take everything they think is valuable."
"But—but what about the children?" She asked, her brain fully concentrating this time. "They can't do that! I—I love those children, for goodness sake! What about our other sponsors, other donations--- "
"Harry Potter already secured us a quarter of his earnings when Puddlemere United wins and—"
"Just a quarter?" Ginny asked astounded. How could brave, kind, famous and not to mention, rich Harry Potter give only a quarter of his earnings? Ginny was about to retort her displeasure when Selena cut her off.
"He has a son to feed, don't you remember?" She said as if reading her mind. "And besides Quidditch is not doing so well these past few months. With all the muggle economic downfall affecting us and everything, mind you. It was no wonder donations are hard to come by." She sighed.
"I guess you're right." Ginny agreed as she slumped herself tiredly against the couch. She brushed the careless tendrils away from her face as she brought her hands to her temples.
"What should we do then?" Selena asked carefully. Ginny looked at her, her mind furiously thinking. Selena's eyes softened. "I love those children too, Ginny. But I—"
"I'll think of something." She said, standing up and pacing back and forth in the dimly lit office, her robes making fast swishing sounds, her heeled-shoes making quick staccato noises against the stone cold floor. Seeing that, Selena just had to smile.
"She's going to fight it." She thought noticing her quickening pace and the determination in her voice. Ginny could be a fighter if she wanted to, that was's a proven fact. Selena remembered everything as if it was were just yesterday.
It was a bloody battle. The good against the evil. Harry Potter, together with his loyal friends and supporters, fought and defeated Voldemort and his minions. Serlena shut her eyes momentarily as the gory scenes wheezed inside her mind. Bodies everywhere, the pungent smell of blood lingering in the air… then those children… suddenly orphaned…their parents dying valiantly in the field… Well, although Ginny didn't openly participate in the battlefield, she was a hero in Selena's eyes. Single-handedly, Ginny Weasly put this orphanage up for those children. It had been hard for her, with the chaos around, the ruins, and the physical and emotional healing… But nevertheless, Ginny fought her own battle… and succeeded.
And now, seeing the look on her face, her brown eyes flashing, her usual smiling lips set in the thin grim line,... Selena's doubts melted. There was just no way that Ms. Virginia Weasly would let this orphanage down. Her face confirmed it all. Selena stood up and straightened the messy desk. "We're going to make it." She thought.
"I guess its time to use Percy's connections in the Daily Prophet, don't you think?" Ginny suddenly asked, stopping and turning in her direction.
Selena looked up. "What are you planning to do?"
"In muggle terms… advertisement." She said. Before Selena could ask, she quickly stepped out of the office, softly closing the door.
Draco Malfoy swore softly as he adjusted the silver clasp of his cloak. Beside him, Narcissa Malfoy eyed him with disapproval. Draco just shrugged nonchalantly and continued his fast gait towards the large oak doors of the faintly lit manor.
"Now Draco." His mother said lightly bringing her hand on top of his outstretched hand that was about to turn the enormous knobs. "Remember what we talked about, hmm?"
Draco rolled his silver-gray eyes. "Yes, yes, be polite to the old coot and—"
"Draco." Narcissa began warningly.
Draco looked away and sighed tiredly. "Be polite to Grandfather and do as he says, I know." He said tiredly. Then looking at his mother, he smiled weakly. "You owe me one, mother." He added softly.
Narcissa smiled. "I know Draco." She said. She then stepped back and looked at her son. Her eyes traveled from his brushed-up flaxen hair, to his immaculate white shirt under his black robes, to his heavy black cloak. "You look fine,. lLet's go."
Draco just rolled his eyes while opening the door for her his mother whom, in turn, stepped inside. Following suit, he closed the door softly and made his way inside the gloomy chamber of Vladimir Malfoy II, his grandfather.
His eyes then roamed around the massive chamber so very much like his father's back at the Malfoy Manor. The only difference was that the room was so… dark, so much darker than his father's. He noticed the huge canopied bed on the center with heavy black velvet drapes. And just beside it stood a medium-sized night table cluttered with junks. There was a sturdy desk on the corner just facing the enormous windows. Three bookshelves full of thick volumes were placed just beside the desk. He frowned slightly.
Vampires: Now and Then by: Dracul Meirs
999 Blood Recipes by: Angelica Ivanova
The Sun, The Crucifix and the Garlic… Famous Remedies by: Edmund Pillars III
He shook his head and decided to ignore the books before him.
"Father?" Narcissa called out softly.
"Come into the light." A strong voice commanded.
Draco gritted his teeth. He hated being ordered around. He was half tempted to pull out his wand and illuminate the room, which he knew would definitely annoy the old man very much. But remembering their present situation, he obediently took three steps forward with his mother beside him only to see the pale face of his grandfather before them.
He was seated on a comfortable looking couch, his chin-length black hair neatly tucked behind his ear, his black-hawk eyes staring at them with cold calculating accuracy. Somehow, Draco can't couldn't believe that this man was a grandfather, HIS grandfather at that. Grandfathers were supposed to be small and rheumatic. They were supposed to smell like ointment or any other stinking balm they used, but with this… THIS man is was giving grandfathers a bad name.
"Is that the boy, Narcissa?"
"Yes, father." She replied.
"How old is he?"
"Draco just turned 22 last month, father."
Vladimir Malfoy stood up and walked towards him. He is was as tall as Draco, standing 6 feet and 2 inches. He stopped just an arm's length before him, his eyes leveling with Draco's. Draco stared back at him, not saying anything.
"I've heard everything what that happened, boy." He said.
Draco nodded his head once. "It was most unfortunate, grandfather." He said neutrally.
Vladimir turned and walked towards his bedside table. He picked up a cigarette, the only muggle thing in the room, and began sticking it in his mouth. He then turned to Draco. "You got a light, boy?" He barked.
Narcissa nudged her son. Draco gritted his teeth, taking his wand from his pocket. He walked towards his grandfather and whispered.
Instantly the tip of his wand lit up as a small flame emerged from it. Draco then held his wand to his grandfather.
"Figures." The old man said, referring to the wand. He lit the stick and began inhaling. "You just don't know what you're missing, boy. This is the best muggle thing there is." He added, exhaling a cloud of smoke at his face.
Draco tried his best not to cough. Vladimir chuckled and paced the room, the heavy fabric of his cloak trailing after his booted feet.
"It was a good thing you didn't join ol' Riddle." The old man began.
"I have no desire to take part in anything that has to do with my father." Draco replied curtly. With that, Narcissa gasped and fearfully looked at the old man.
"Draco! He's your father! You could at least respect his death—"
"It's all right, Narcissa." The old man interrupted. Then turning to Draco, he smiled without humor. "I, too, can't believe that wretched son of mine."
Draco nodded his head.
"However, you're becoming equally wretched."
Draco didn't answer back. Vladimir cleared his throat. "When are you planning to settle down, boy? Live up to tradition?"
This time Draco frowned. "I don't understand, grandfather." He said truthfully.
Vladimir nodded his head. "Let me put it this way." He began. "Lucius, my blasted son, spent most of the family fortune I left him for his campaign for Riddle, am I correct?"
Draco nodded his head, his face turning white with anger just remembering that. It was because of his father they were here, facing this—this—old coot!
"And he didn't leave a single cent for you to live on, am I right?"
"Yes, grandfather." Draco said, swallowing hard. "Is this how it feels to be a Weasly?" His mind unconsciously said.
At that, Vladimir laughed as if reading his mind. "You're not becoming poor, boy!, Iif that's what you're thinking!" He boomed. Then he proceeded to walk towards his desk. With a casual movement of his hands, he opened the drawer and pulled out several yellowed parchments. He threw them at the table, inhaling.
"This is what I was afraid of." He started, as he exhaled a cloud of smoke from his unsmiling lips. "Ever since Lucius became interested in the Dark Arts I knew it would come to this."
Draco just hung his head and said nothing. Narcissa, in turn, placed herself beside her son. Draco could just feel the rising fear and tension within his mother. What were those papers then? Documents stating that they will would be thrown out without a single penny to their name? Documents that Vladimir Malfoy was surrendering his supposed responsibility? Moreover, were there even such documents for that?
He took a deep breath. His grandfather may have been part-vampire, yes. He may have done some serious shits before to wizards and muggles alike, yes. But Draco knew one thing: Vladimir Malfoy would never invest money into something he thought wasn't worth it… and that included the Dark Lord. With that, anger rushed inside him again like a great tidal wave. Curse his father for putting them into a situation like this. He looked at his mother momentarily and resisted the overwhelming desire to put his arms around her and hold her with all his might. He didn't want to look pitiful before this old man. Malfoys didn't do that.
"He was a fool for even joining Riddle's force, I say." His grandfather continued. "Why, I had known that man when we were still going at Hogwarts. Bloody git, he was."
Draco just remained silent, his mind furiously thinking about what to do after this talk. Of course, he would have to take care of his mother. It is his sworn duty. Would he eventually go to work? Perhaps he could teach at Hogwarts. He shook his head. No, he couldn't. Almost all of the staff at Hogwarts hated his guts even if it was widely known that he turned his back on the Dark Lord. Or maybe he could go seek help from his father's friends or minions or whatever— Crabbe and Goyle-- No, even they hated him that much. After disappearing during the Dark Lord's war, not giving his full support, he is was so sure that they will would kill him at first sight.
"Now," His grandfather said, looking up. "I have here the papers stating that I, Vladimir Malfoy II, owns a vast sum of money amounting to 95 million galleons and a total of 167 million galleons worth of property. All assets stated will be passed to my grandson, Draco Edward Malfoy on his twenty-first birthday."
"Father—" Narcissa began but Vladimir shook her away to quiet her. Draco nearly stumbled as he felt his knees turning weak. He didn't know just how rich the old man was… well, not until now. A total of 262 million galleons?! That was a lot money! A really LOT of money. They would survive after all! He doesn't even need to work! And he was already twenty-two! That meant—
"However." His grandfather said loudly. "I have changed my will."
Draco's face turned cold upon noting the satisfied smile of his grandfather before him. It was a smile that says "I did something great!" It took all his willpower not to hurl his knuckles against his grandfather's face.
"Don't look at me like that, boy! You will get the fortune eventually." The old man said. "But I have stated some conditions here after learning of your philandering ways. I couldn't possibly leave a vast amount of money to someone who is stupid, now could I? What good would it do leaving this to someone like you if you would just waste it, eh?"
"What do you mean?" Draco asked, his voice stone cold.
Vladimir smirked arrogantly. He stood up and made his way towards Draco. "Women." He said.
Draco took a deep breath.
"Wine." His grandfather added.
Draco's breathing became ragged.
"And whatever you think will amuse you."
"The situation is entirely different now." Draco replied furiously but with cool calmness. "I have changed and if I haven't, I will. I have no other choice."
With that, Vladimir laughed loudly. Narcissa's silver eyes traveled from his son's angry face to the old man's jovial ones. She just knew how her son hates to be laughed at. Narcissa silently prayed that Draco would be able to hold his temper a little longer.
"I reckon not." His grandfather said. "But then, I believe you're going to change. We will see about that."
"The conditions, grandfather." Draco said impatiently.
Vladimir let out a smile, a predatory smile. "Oh the conditions, eh?" He asked. "Actually, I only have one condition, boy."
Draco remained silent. Vladimir's smile widened, like a cat's going on for the kill.
"To inherit all my assets, you boy must have a decent life." He replied.
"What exactly are you trying to get at?" He demanded. "Stop talking in riddles! I have no time for such things!" He added impatiently.
His grandfather chuckled and handed him one parchment as his answer. Draco snatched the cracked paper, his eyes scanning the content. The old man eyed him with amusement as Draco's eyes nearly popped out his head.
"What?!" Draco yelled. He then let out an audible curse. "I absolutely will not!"
"Draco, please—" Narcissa pleaded, placing her hand on her son's shoulder.
"That is the only condition, boy. Take it of or leave it."
Draco silently thought about his mother, then shrugged. There's divorce anyway. Yes, it could work! And Blaise… she would be more than happy to oblige, surely, since money was involved and to top it all off, Blaise was not really up for marriage. That would make things a little less complicated.
He then placed his hands on his temple as if getting a sudden headache. Oh, Lindsay wasn't going to like this. Eliza too, and Jasmina and—
"And don't even think of marrying one of your whores, boy! Especially that wretched of a girl, Zabini!" The old man barked.
This time Draco's eyes narrowed dangerously. "I don't see why not?" He replied with forced calmness. "I will marry whom I wish to marry. I can't see why it's your concern."
"It is too my concern because the money you and your wife will live on is mine." Vladimir answered heavily. "Get a nice, decent girl, boy. Someone of good and moral character. Someone who I will be proud of. Someone who I will approve."
"Then why don't YOU go and get married yourself?" Draco spat angrily.
"Draco—" Narcissa began.
"Oh I'm so flattered that you think that I, at this old age of mine, could even engage in that tradition. Courtship, I mean. But I assure you, I'm well past the marrying age boy." His grandfather answered deliberately. Draco curled up his knuckles, his breathing heavy as he fought to hold his temper. "Go and get someone like your mother." Vladimir said his eyes turning to Narcisaa. "Beautiful and special. You deserved more than that blasted son of mine, Narcissa."
"My mother is a saint. No one can compare to her. What do you want me to do then? Marry a saint? Or a nun?" Draco said sarcastically.
Vladimir shrugged. "You'll think of something, I'm sure. In the meanwhile, off you go! I need to be alone."
"Gladly." Draco growled angrily while throwing the parchment at his grandfather. He then hurriedly turned and made his way crossly towards the door with his mother following him. Once outside, Narcissa stopped and held her son's arm. Draco turned to her, his eyebrows raised in confusion.
"You mean that?" She asked sofly.
"What you said back there."
With At that Draco went silent as he bit his lower lip like he used to do when he was a boy. "Yes, mother." He answered softly. He then smiled sadly. "No one can compare to you. To tell you the truth, I can't even understand why you married my father. He is was so--"
Narcissa shook her head. "If I hadn't, then you wouldn't be here."
Draco sighed and raked his hand through his hair. "That's the bitter reality of it, mother."
"You don't have to do it if you don't want to, Draco. I'll understand. I want you to be happy, son. We'll get through, somehow."
Draco shook his head as his answer and continued walking. He didn't want to be like his father. Lucius Malfoy had brought nothing but pain and sadness to his sweet and caring mother. And now that he was dead, nothing could stop him from repaying the sweetness and the kindness his mother had once bestowed on him. He may not have been that good at showing it, both verbally and physically, but at least by doing that blasted condition—
"Will you hold this for a minute, dear?" Narcissa said, interrupting his thoughts.
Draco nodded and absently held his hand out. Narcissa placed a roll of parchment in it and proceeded to straighten her dress robe. His eyes unconsciously went to the paper in his hand.
"You brought this?" He asked frowning upon seeing the bold letters of the Daily Prophet.
Narcissa nodded looking at it. "Silly me, I have forgotten that I placed it inside my robe pocket." She said. Then she sighed. "Oh I would be sorry to see that orphanage close down. Just thinking of those poor children… I would have gladly given some of our money to that institution if it wasn't for your father..."
Draco didn't answer as his eyes scanned the article. Apparently the orphanage that was built to house the orphaned children after the war was facing financial difficulty. He was about to throw the paper away when a name caught his attentions.
"Draco let's go. We'll be late for supper." His mother urged.
He nodded absent-mindedly, his eyes not leaving the paper. Just then, an idea hit him. He tucked the newspaper inside his robe pocket and smiled. He followed his mother whom was already near the door. Everything's becoming perfect.
"Its payback time, Virginia." He drawled softly to himself, pleased.
End of Part I
A/N: The word "Ignus" really came from FF VIII. There was a painting there that depicted a flame and its name was Ignus. I kinda derived the concept from that. More would be coming... I got most of the spells from FF VIII.