Title: The Perfect Mother
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or any of the characters you recognize from the HP books in this story. All I own is the plot. Everything else belongs to JK Rowling. She rocks.
Pairings: DM/femHP, GrM/?, Gb/?, HM/?, Many others. :D
Warnings: This is a NEXT GENERATION story based on the characters and universe of TPG/TPW so hopefully, you've all read those two stories first before attempting to read this one. Also, be warned of slow updates on this story as I will be focusing most of my attention on my other two stories.
A/N: YES! I HAVE RETURNED WITH YET ANOTHER CHAPTER! CHEER FOR ME! I AM AWESOME! :D Normally I don't update at this rate anymore but my muse has been inspiring me a lot lately. Oh well, good news for you guys! If only I could say the same about my muse for Phoenix Tears though. T_T But never fear, guys! I'm not abandoning Phoenix Tears! Just give me some more time with it, I'll make sure I finish it soon enough. So without further ado…Enjoy the chapter! :D
Chapter 6 – Of Fickle Fathers & Freudian Horrors
Draco felt another stab of irritation as he looked up into Garrett and Gabriel's identical doe-eyed stares at him from where all three of them were seated by the living room in Draco's dormitory.
Neither of the two shaggy-haired, green-eyed boys was blinking.
"WHAT? WHAT IS IT ALREADY? WHY ARE YOU STARING AT ME?"
At Draco's sudden outburst, Garrett and Gabriel jolted from the living room sofa and shared a 'meep', glancing back up at the irate Head Boy with a sheepish smile. When Draco seethed and glared at them as though demanding an explanation, the twins just bit their lip and hastily looked away.
"What? Bloody hell, what is it with you two and your doe-eyed faces? Have you never seen an actual human being before? Bloody Merlin's beard, you'd think I was a ghost or something!" Draco muttered under his breath as he leaned back against the couch and stared intently at the two boys.
"So…" He smirked and drummed his fingers against the glass coffee table in front of him. "Garrett and Gabriel, huh? What kind of stupid names are those? Your parents must hate you." Draco drawled, earning himself a particularly nasty glare from Garrett as he looked up and snarled at him.
"The thought crossed my mind." He growled back, earning himself another smirk from Draco again as he merely arched an eyebrow at him and looked away. "Ah well, can't have them all, I guess. Hmm…" Draco stroked his chin as he let his thoughtful gaze study both the twins in mild curiosity.
"You're both from the future, huh…? Truly?" He waited until Garrett and Gabriel had both glanced awkwardly at each other before they looked back at him and nodded slowly in confirmation.
At this, Draco's smirk widened and his gray eyes twinkled mischievously as he surveyed their expressions. "Oh yeah…?" He rested his left ankle on one of his knees and leaned back, resting his elbows arrogantly against the couch's armrests. "I don't believe you…Prove it to me." He challenged.
Gabriel blinked and stared dumbly at him. "Er…How?"
Draco narrowed his eyes for a few minutes in thought before he smirked and arched an eyebrow at Gabriel. "Do I or do I not graduate as the Hogwarts Valedictorian this year?" He asked.
Sighing, Gabriel just rolled his eyes but nodded in defeat, slinking back against his seat.
"Yes, you do."
Draco's smirk grew and he stroked his chin again, obviously thinking of another question.
"Do I…meet my future wife within the next few days?"
At this, Gabriel's lips twitched in amusement and he shook his head firmly in response.
Frowning, Draco looked a little put out at this but he recovered himself and went on.
"Do I…marry a mudblood?"
Gabriel failed to notice the way Garrett was rolling his eyes in exasperation beside him.
Grinning in relief, Draco nodded his approval and leaned back against his seat again. "Bloody hell, this is wicked. I knew there was a reason I agreed to take you two stupid gits in with me. Otherwise, I would never have bothered. So…Tell me." He leaned over the table between them and whispered under his breath. "Are you, by any chance, connected to me or affiliated with me in any conceivable way in the future you're from?" He asked them, studying their expressions carefully.
At this, Garrett and Gabriel both stiffened in alarm and glanced pointedly at each other.
Eventually, Gabriel was forced to respond. "…Yes."
Draco's haughty smile grew and he chuckled, looking very pleased with himself.
"…Is that so?" He paused and began tapping his index finger lightly against his chin in thought
"Hmm…Alright…I don't suppose you could tell me who I end up marrying—"
"We can't tell you anything about the future, remember?" Garrett suddenly cut in loudly as he reached over and yanked his twin brother away from Draco. "You're not to ask us any questions that could potentially reveal the future for you, it could cause trouble! So stop harassing us!" He growled.
Disappointed, Draco glared angrily at Garrett but otherwise, he sat back against his seat.
"Fine…" He muttered loudly, narrowing his eyes in annoyance. Still, Draco continued to study the twins in front of him in silence, taking note of their identical green eyes and familiar features.
After a few moments of awkward silence – majority of which involved the twins trying not to let Draco study their faces too closely for fear of him noticing their features – Draco spoke again.
"What's it like in the future, anyway?" He asked, unable to help himself as he glanced back over at them again. When he saw the amusement in Gabriel's eyes, Draco looked a little sheepish at his own curiosity but nevertheless, he looked expectantly at them and waited for them to answer.
"I mean…" Draco paused, trying to think of the right away to phrase himself. "Are things any different there than here? Has magic advanced? Have the people changed? Or better yet, have I changed? What am I like in the future?" He asked again, alternating his gaze from Garrett to Gabriel.
Unsure of how to answer, Gabriel seemed to stare back blankly at him for a few minutes. Unfortunately, before Gabriel could react, Garrett suddenly cut him off and answered in a blunt voice.
"Fat and balding." Garrett drawled.
Draco looked horrified, his eyes almost as wide as a helpless, terrorized house-elf.
It was the first time the twins had ever heard their father's voice reach that pitch.
Garrett was practically chewing on his own tongue to keep himself from bursting out laughing while Gabriel, on the other hand, was glaring at his smirking twin in disapproval and shaking his head.
"Gar, stop that!" Sighing, Gabriel shook his head again and turned back to the distraught Head Boy. "He was kidding, Dad—Draco, he didn't mean that. You're not fat or anything in the future—"
"OH BUT I'M BALD?" Draco's voice had gone from pitchy to frantic at this point and he was fidgeting impatiently around in his seat in agitation. "MERLIN, PLEASE TELL ME I DON'T GO BALD!"
"You don't go bald!" Gabriel snapped in exasperation and this time, he didn't bother quelling the irritated glare he sent to his twin brother laughing hysterically and practically choking beside him.
"That wasn't funny!" Riel seethed, wanting nothing more than to tear his hair out in frustration.
"HAHAHAHAHA! P—priceless! That was so worth it—"
Garrett keeled over in his seat again, wheezing through his laughter.
Draco cut them off again, his expression frantic as he reached across the coffee table, yanked Riel by the front of his robes and began jostling him in panic. "What about my wife? I mean…What's she like in the future? Am I still rich?" His voice broke and he was practically hyperventilating.
Again, Gabriel opened his mouth to answer him but his older brother already beat him to it.
"Urgh…Don't even get me started on that dog you call a wife, Draco." Garrett feigned a disgusted shudder and looked away, his bright green eyes twinkling with mirth. "One look at that 'wife' of yours is enough to scare a bloody mountain troll away, believe me." Garrett was already choking on his own muffled laughter by now but fortunately, Draco had mistaken the sound for disgust.
For the life of him, the Malfoy Heir was looking as though he was going to lose his breakfast.
"H—How is that possible—"
"Urrrghhhh!" Garrett enunciated again, ignoring the increasingly persistent nudges he was getting from Gabriel beside him. Pointedly refusing to meet Gabriel's warning glare, he nudged Gabriel back in annoyance before he continued. "Body full of cellulite, skin all saggy, blemishes everywhere, you name it, Draco. In fact, it's a wonder you married that ugly cow at all!" He chimed in further.
Draco looked as though he was about to cry.
As the Head Boy's eyes rolled back and he fell over in a dead faint onto the floor, Garrett immediately burst out laughing again, and this time even Gabriel couldn't help suppress his laughter.
The two of them stared thoughtfully at their father's pale, unconscious figure on the floor.
"…Father is so going to kill you when we get back, Garrett."
Garrett's smirk faltered and in belated realization, he turned back slowly to glance at Gabriel.
"Oh bugger…I didn't think about that."
As they followed Hermione out of the Headmaster's office, Hailene and Abigail continued to exchange glares and sneers with one another behind her. Every so often, Hermione would turn around to address them and immediately, both girls would smile innocently – as though nothing was wrong.
They got a couple of stares and whispered comments from among the groups of students they passed along the corridors but none of them looked familiar to Hailene so far, much to her relief. As they rounded the corner towards the Head Girl dormitory, Hermione turned around to them again.
"Who did you say your parents were again?" She asked, studying Hailene and Abigail closely.
Blinking, Abigail paused and answered in a very calm, dismissive tone. ""We didn't."
Confused at this, Hailene raised an eyebrow at Abigail in question. When her cousin gave her a pointed glare, Hailene finally remembered that Dumbledore had cast a memory charm on Hermione. The Head Girl knew they were from the future and needed to be given special attention, but she had absolutely no idea or memory as to who their parents were. Dumbledore had made sure of that.
Frowning, Hermione glanced sideways at them but thankfully, the Head Girl didn't push the issue any further. Eventually, she led both Hailene and Abigail through a series of more turns and twists throughout Hogwarts Castle until they finally stopped near the entrance to the Great Hall.
"Would you mind if I take you through another way?" She asked, looking at the two girls in question. When Abigail shook her head and Hailene just shrugged at her, Hermione nodded and began leading them downstairs through a series of narrow corridors that passed through the greenhouses.
As the pair of girls followed Hermione in stone silence, eventually Hailene couldn't help turning to glare at Abigail again and giving the younger girl an angry sneer. "You know, you do realize that this is your fault right? I mean—" Hailene rolled her eyes and flipped her hair over her shoulder.
"We could be back in our time right now if you hadn't been so eager to find your godforsaken parents – who don't even want you – if I may point out—" Hailene stopped when Abigail cut her off.
"Wow." Abigail shook her head and narrowed her eyes at the older Malfoy daughter just as Hermione had led them around another corner again. "Here I was, not saying anything and perfectly minding my own business and you go attack me? What is your problem, Hale?" She asked angrily.
Hailene snapped at her. "My problem? My problem is that I don't like you and I hate that I have to spend these next few weeks waiting here with you! I mean, do you even know how horrifying it is to be here and to see my parents, and I can't even talk to them? Or ask for their help—"
"Yeah, well at least you have parents, Hailene. Wonderful parents who care about you—"
"Oh please. Don't start that rubbish again." Hailene cut her off rudely, rolling her eyes again.
Abigail's cheeks flushed red in anger and she glared at Hailene in indignation.
"You're such a bitch!"
"And you're a pathetic orphan!"
"Why you arrogant little—"
"Girls!" Hermione sounded exasperated as she turned back around to face them, shifting her gaze from Hailene to Abigail in question. "Could we please keep it down back there? Look, I don't know if there's any family history between you two, but I suggest you don't bring it up now. We have bigger problems to worry about." She gave them a pointed look, causing both girls to look sheepish.
"Sorry." Abigail answered carefully, giving Hermione an apologetic grimace. Hailene, however, just stared back coldly at Hermione and arched a single eyebrow at her in acknowledgment.
Sighing, Hermione shook her head again before she turned back around and led the two girls right through one of the Professor Sprout's empty Herbology greenhouses. Making a disgusted face, Hailene hesitantly followed in after her, but just as she was halfway across the room, she tensed up.
By the very middle of the greenhouse, Hailene noticed that a large cage of poisonous, fierce-looking pythons had been suspended just above a small mandrake garden. The cage must have contained about ten snakes or more, and all were practically immobile – as though asleep. As Hailene passed them, however, the snakes had all suddenly glanced up and looked directly at her – as though sensing her presence. Feeling very uncomfortable at this, Hailene ignored them and kept on walking.
Stiffening, Hailene heard the confusion in Abigail's voice but she refused to look at the cage of snakes again when she answered.
Abigail caught up to her and fell into step beside her as she answered. "Did you see that cage back there? Why are all those snakes looking at you like that?" She asked, glancing at the cage again.
At her question, Hailene stiffened even further and began to trail faster after Hermione. "How the bloody hell should I know? Maybe they want to kill me or something!" She snapped impatiently.
Frowning, Abigail shook her head at her response and continued to watch the snakes in mild curiosity. "No, I don't think so…" She fused her eyebrows together and eyed one of the large black snakes hissing loudly – as though deliberately trying to catch Hailene's attention. "I think they want to talk to you." Abigail's flicked her gaze back over at her older cousin and gave her a strange look.
"I thought you said you weren't a parselmouth. Can you talk to snakes too—?"
"NO!" Hailene's face had immediately flushed in anger and she shoved her cousin away. "No, I can't talk to snakes! I'm not a freak like my mother, I'm not!" She raged sharply, her voice breaking.
Turning away, she ignored the rest of Abigail's confused questions at her as she quickened her footsteps until she was practically kicking at Hermione's heels. Fortunately, the Head Girl remained unaware of their conversation and continued to lead them across the Herbology greenhouse in silence. As they finally exited through the opposite door of the large room, Hailene noticed that they were now on the other side of Hogwarts Castle, just by the corridor leading straight to the Quidditch Pitch.
Sighing, Hailene and Abigail trudged their feet along after the Head Girl in growing impatience.
"Are we there yet?" Hailene asked out loud, scowling as Hermione turned around to face her. Laughing, Hermione gestured ahead and gave them both an apologetic smile. "The Head Girl Dormitory is way on the other side of the castle. We would have taken longer had we taken the usual way, believe me." She told them. "But we're nearly there. Just have around that corner over there."
She smiled at them again and when Hailene and Abigail sighed, the three of them walked on – walking by a large group of Gryffindor students who were exiting the Quidditch Pitch. As they passed them, Hailene couldn't help but notice that the Gryffindor students were all wearing their Quidditch uniforms and were a bit rain-drenched from practice, including the dark-haired boy leading the team.
The dark-haired boy, whom Hailene assumed was their team captain, had his back turned to them but even then, she noticed that he was very good-looking. His hair was slightly unruly, as though he had just rolled out of bed and he had an athletic build – lean and toned. As his wet uniform clung on to his frame, Hailene couldn't help but smirk and rake her eyes up and down his form.
Mmm. Not bad…If I do say so myself. She grinned sheepishly at her own train of thought. She was just about to look away when Hermione suddenly exclaimed out loud, causing her to look up.
"Harry! There you are!"
The dark-haired boy Hailene had been staring at suddenly froze, and then turned around.
OH. BLOODY. BLEEDING. HELL.
Hailene and Abigail's eyes both went wide in horror.
17-year-old Harry Potter, just as every bit handsome and charming as everyone else had used to describe him, was grinning as Hermione rushed over to him, dragging the two girls along with her. As they reached him, however, Hailene was obviously still in shock and not even Abigail's prodding and yanking on her arm roused her as she continued to gape at Harry with a very horrified grimace.
Mother of Merlin…Unconsciously, Hailene's cheeks began to turn a sickly shade of green.
I just checked out my own…Mother! Hailene began to feel the walls around her spinning like crazy and before she knew it, her stomach lurched and the floor was yanked from right under her feet.
And then everything went black.
Harry Potter had never really considered himself the type of guy who was known to 'knock girls off their feet. Well, at least, he had never considered he could ever make such an impression.
In fact, the only time he could even recall that he had ever 'knocked a girl off her feet was back in their fifth year – when he had accidentally fired a spell at Cho Chang during training and he had accidentally sent the girl flying across the room. He wasn't even sure if that incident counted.
Which was why Harry was thoroughly shocked when, as he and Ron were coming back from Quidditch practice with the Gryffindor Team, he had managed to knock one girl unconscious the moment she had taken a good look at his face – which hadn't even been a very long time, mind you.
"Merlin's Beard! Is she alright?" Hermione's voice broke through Harry and Ron's initial shock and the Head Girl rushed forward, gathering the pale, fainted girl back up from the ground in panic.
Harry's eyes widened and he nearly dropped his firebolt in shock as he, Ron and the rest of the Gryffindor team behind him rushed over to Hermione as well. "Hey, is she okay? Hermione, what's wrong with her? No wait, guys! Give her some air!" Frowning, Harry made his way through the crowd that had formed around the fainted girl and crouched down, feeling the girl's clammy forehead.
"Wait, let me through! Let me through! She's my cousin!"
Looking up, Harry flicked his eyes over to the source of the voice that had spoken – a small, auburn-haired girl in Hufflepuff who was now kneeling down onto the ground beside him. Frowning, the auburn-haired girl had reached over and gathered the fainted girl away from Hermione's arms.
"Sh—she's fine, everyone! She's fine…Probably just the heat! Please do go on. I'll take care of her!" She rushed out with a wide, suspiciously nervous smile that Harry certainly did not fail to notice.
"Eh? Do we even know this Ravenclaw girl? 'Mione, who is she? What were you even doing with her?" Still clad in his Keeper uniform and padding gear, Ron had strode over to them and crouched down low beside Harry and Hermione. "And while we're on that subject, who is she?" He added rudely, gesturing to the gaping auburn-haired girl who was kneeling beside Hermione.
"I—I'm…Abigail…" The auburn-haired girl looked nervously from Hermione to Ron a few times but then, Harry suddenly spoke again and he drew their attention back to the girl who had fainted.
"She doesn't look too good." Unconsciously, Harry's eyes softened as he reached down and gently brushed a stray strand of the fainted girl's hair away from her face. "I think we'd better take her back to your room, Hermione…Let her rest up on the couch there. The hospital wing is too far away anyway." He suggested as he stood back up, carefully gathering the fainted girl into his arms.
Nodding, Hermione gestured to Ron as well and then indicated for the auburn-haired girl to follow them. "Right… Come on Abigail, you're coming with us. Dumbledore said I wasn't supposed to let you out of my sight." She reminded her, causing the other girl to sigh and nod back slowly.
"Come on then." Harry turned around and nodded slowly to the rest of his teammates. "Good job at practice today, guys. You all go on ahead; I'll catch up with you during dinner." He told them with an easy grin, watching as they shrugged and began heading off in the direction of the Great Hall.
As soon as they were gone, Abigail followed the Gryffindor trio quickly down the corridor until they had reached the entrance to the Head Girl dormitory. After Hermione had let them in, Harry deposited the girl gently onto the couch facing the fireplace and Abigail knelt on the floor next to her.
"Hailene…" She tapped the other girl's cheek gently, trying to wake her up. "Come on, Hailene…Wake up! We can't afford to do this right now." Abigail whispered softly, her cheeks flushed.
Harry knelt down next to her and gave her a reassuring smile. "Here…Let me." He placed a hand on the unconscious girl's forehead to feel her temperature. "Could you charm me a small cup of water?" He asked, wincing when he felt the girl's clammy skin. Nodding, Abigail reached hastily into her pockets and pulled out a vial – filling it with an 'aguamenti' spell before she handed it to Harry.
Without waiting for anyone to react, Harry splashed the water right into the fainted girl's face.
"HEY—" Abigail had stiffened indignantly as she now glared back at him in accusation. Before Harry could explain, they heard Ron exclaiming loudly from where he was standing over them.
"Hey it worked! She's awake! She's fine! 'Mione! Over here!" Ron gestured frantically for Hermione to join them just as the Head Girl had finished preparing a warm, clean wash cloth.
The tense expressions on Harry and Abigail's face relaxed and the two students leaned back and watched as the girl who had fainted suddenly opened her eyes, staring blankly at all of them. Sighing in relief, Hermione rushed over to her and knelt down, wiping the water off the girl's face.
As she did this, Harry finally turned and addressed Abigail directly for the first time. "I've never seen you two before…" He paused and fused his eyebrows together in question. "What are your names…?" He asked her, watching curiously as Abigail stiffened and bit her lip in awkward silence.
"I'm Abigail…This is Hailene…We're from…" She turned to Hermione for help but the Head Girl gave her a pointed glare before she turned quickly to answer Harry instead. "They're exchange students, Harry!" Hermione told him hastily, ignoring the look of disbelief she got from Ron. "Dumbledore assigned me to take care of them and to take them under my wing for the next few days. They're from—" She paused and looked at Abigail again for help but fortunately, Abigail answered.
"—we're from Sapientia's School for the Elite, it's a rather exclusive private school far from here. We're only staying in Hogwarts for a few weeks. You know…Just some friendly inter-school interaction." She laughed nervously when Harry and Ron continued to stare at her in confusion.
Then, shrugging, Ron just grinned and walked over to Hermione's food counter. "Alright, I guess that makes sense." He grabbed an apple off the counter, much to Hermione's annoyed reaction. "Welcome to Hogwarts then…Happy to have you here. Want some friendly advice?" Ron bit into the apple loudly, chewed for a couple of seconds, before he continued. "Stay away from the Slytherins."
Amused, Abigail arched an eyebrow at him and watched as Ron sat down onto the couch opposite the one Hailene was lying on. "…Stay away from the Slytherins?" Abigail asked curiously.
Harry and Hermione were rolling their eyes now but Ron grinned at her again and nodded.
"Yep…Just stay away from the whole lot of them. Especially Malfoy, stay far away from Malfoy as you can. The bloody prick is about as dangerous as Hogwarts can get, he's nothing but trouble—"
"Oh don't listen to him, Abigail." Harry laughed as he cut through his best friend's tirade by flinging a pillow over at hm. "No one here at Hogwarts is dangerous at all, it's a perfectly good school. You're safe to roam around the halls at night." He told her but Ron only answered him with a scoff.
"Mind you, that came from Harry Potter, the boy-who-bloody-cannot-keep-away-from-danger." He kidded and this time, he earned a genuine laugh from Abigail and a glare from Harry.
"Shh! I think Hailene's coming around." Hermione suddenly brought their attention back to her as she examined Hailene's pale face in anticipation. She had been awake for some time but now that she had begun to notice her surroundings, Hailene's eyes were wandering slowly around the room.
As Harry leaned back and watched her carefully, he noticed that the girl Abigail had introduced to them as 'Hailene' was exceptionally beautiful – pale skin, black hair, and a slender figure. Her eyes were the most intense shade of silver he had ever seen. Looking at her, he couldn't help but wonder where he had seen those familiar eyes before. Her features, however, were currently muddled in a mixture of confusion and horror as she blinked and suddenly stared at him for a very long time.
From beside him, Harry felt Ron giving him a sharp nudge.
"Psst! Do you know her from somewhere?" He hissed, earning a distracted shrug from Harry.
"Not that I particularly remember or anything. Why do you ask?" He whispered back to his redheaded best friend but Ron just smirked teasingly at him and crossed his arms over his chest.
"Because it looks as though she recognizes you, Harry…Are you sure she wasn't one of your 'summer flings' or something? Because if she was, you can tell us, mate. We won't judge you—"
The rest of Ron's teasing remark ended up in a snigger when Harry just growled and nudged him back sharply in annoyance. "Will you grow up, Ron?" He snapped, causing Ron to laugh harder.
Just as Ron was going to answer him, both boys turned to Hailene again just as she was coming around. She was still staring very intently at Harry, however, and ignoring Abigail's insistent prodding to get her attention, the first words out of her mouth shocked the Gryffindors into silence.
Ron looked around the room in confusion – initially thinking that Hailene had been referring to either Hermione or Abigail. When he saw that Hailene was still looking at Harry, however, his eyes went as wide as saucers and he looked torn between laughing hysterically and scratching his head.
Hermione glanced repeatedly back and forth between Harry and Hailene. "Hailene, what—"
Harry's eyes bugged as Hailene was still staring directly at him, her wide eyes taking in his face. Laughing nervously and yet feeling a surge of irritation when he saw the way Hermione, Ron and even Abigail were trying to keep straight faces; Harry began to grit his teeth and answered calmly.
"I'm…not…your mother…And you…are obviously delusional—" He was about to stand back up from where he was still kneeling near the couch but Hailene spoke again, latching tightly onto his arm.
"H—hey! What the bloody—let go of me! Let go!" Harry blurted out and he tried to yank his arm away, much to Ron's amusement again as he burst into another round of poorly muffled sniggers.
"Mom? I—is that you?" Hailene croaked out weakly again and this time, to Harry's mortification, she cupped his cheeks and pulled him close – examining his face ridiculously close.
Again, at Ron choked-up laughter, Harry reddened very brightly and he tried to pull away.
"I am not your mother, you crazy girl!" He tried to pull back again but to his horror, Hailene suddenly jumped at him and placed both of her pale hands right on his chest. "WHAT ARE YOU—"
"M—Merlin's Beard!" Hailene gasped and cried out, pounding her fists against his chest again before she flicked wide, hysterical eyes back up and stared at an ashen-faced Abigail beside Hermione. "Abigail, she's a guy! I—I mean…Look at her! She doesn't have any breasts! She's a male, she's a—"
"BLOODY HELL!" Harry's ears were positively as red as a tomato now as he shoved Hailene off him and jumped up, seething with humiliation amidst Ron's hysterical laughter. "ARE YOU MENTAL? What did I ever do to you? Do I look like your bloody mother? Or better yet, do I look like a bloody woman?" Harry's voice broke in his embarrassment and his eyes were flashing as he glared at her.
With wide eyes and slack jaws, Hailene and Abigail stared at him in stunned, awkward silence.
"LOOK!" Admittedly, Harry was beginning to lose his patience – and it didn't help that Ron was practically rolling around the carpeted floor in his laughter and Hermione was doing nothing else but watch the scene in confusion. "I don't know if you're just a delusional loony or you're recovering from the effects of a particularly nasty potion but it's obvious, you're not thinking clearly—" Harry's left eye twitched irritably when Abigail cut him off, silencing his tirade with a sheepish, apologetic smile.
"I—I understand, Aunt Har—I mean! Harry!" She winced and hastily corrected herself again when Harry's eyes had narrowed at the word 'Aunt'. "Hailene is just suffering a very…very bad case of homesickness…It's nothing a little rest can't cure! Right, Hale?" She turned to her cousin again with a nervous smile but Hailene was looking as though she hadn't heard a single word Abigail had said.
In fact, Hailene was doing nothing else but stare at Harry as though she had never seen another human being before in her life. "…M—Mom?" She croaked out again, her voice breaking.
She tried to reach both hands once more for Harry's face but when Harry's only reaction was to growl and shove her away again, Abigail caught the hands Hailene was reaching out for his face and hastily pulled the other girl up to her feet.
"See? Really homesick, she's starting to get all these hallucinations! I should take her upstairs for some rest, I really should! Aunt—I mean! Hermione! Where are our rooms? Where do we stay?" Gathering her whimpering, trembling cousin into her arms, Abigail looked back up at Hermione and waited as the confused Head Girl wordlessly pointed her up in the direction of the guest bedrooms.
"Right! We'll manage!" Abigail rushed out, gathering Hailene into her arms again when it looked as though she was reaching both of her hands back out towards Harry's chest. "Come on Hale… That's too much excitement for you for one day!" She blurted out, giving Harry a sheepish smile.
"See you guys later!"
Laughing nervously, Abigail ignored Harry and Hermione's matching, shell-shocked expressions as she dragged Hailene hurriedly up the stairs, ignoring the other girl's protests until they reached the entrance to the guest bedrooms. As soon as the doors had closed and Harry and Hermione were left with nothing else but the sound of Ron's wheezing laughter on the floor, Harry finally turned around slowly and stared at Hermione with a blank, confused expression on his face.
"…What just happened back there, 'Mione?"
He could see that the befuddled expression on his face was mirrored on his best friend's.
"I don't think I even want to know, Harry."
Gabriel found himself edging closer to his twin brother as the two of them followed Draco down a maze of dungeon corridors leading to the Slytherin Common Room. In his nervousness, he forced himself to walk faster after Garrett and leaned over to hiss something at him in parseltongue.
"Where are we?"
Smirking at the agitation he heard in his twin brother's voice, Garrett patted Sylens from where the snake had coiled itself comfortably around his neck before he answered. "Relax…We're just headed for the Slytherin Common Room. Corridors are cold and dark but otherwise perfectly safe." He answered, chuckling when even Sylens seemed to look amused at Gabriel's growing nervousness.
"Well, I can't help it. I don't like the dungeons! Bloody cold and gloomy and—" He nearly jumped when he heard a loud, low-voiced scream from the opposite end of the corridor. "Did you hear that?" Gabriel's voice was high-pitched and panicky as he turned to Garrett in horror. "What was—"
"Relax, Riel…" Garrett looked like he was trying to hide a smile. "That was just the Bloody Baron being a prat again, as usual…He always does that." Without meaning to, Garrett began to laugh. "Merlin, you would think you weren't a Gryffindor…You're a bloody coward. I'm supposed to be the cowardly Slytherin here, not you." He kidded, earning a particularly nasty glare from his twin brother.
"I am not a coward."
"You are too a stuffy coward"
"Arrogant Slytherin prick."
Ignoring Gabriel's last comment, Garrett looked particularly smug as he followed Draco further down the corridor until they reached the sealed entrance to the Slytherin Common Room. Gabriel was still scowling as he trailed after them but eventually, his curiosity got the better of him and he began to look around – his eyes going wide as he saw the Slytherin Common Room for the very first time.
He remembered his mother warning him once that the dungeons were a particularly cold and dark place to be in but truth be told, looking at the Slytherin Common Room now – he actually had to admit that it didn't seem that way at all. In fact, the place looked quite homey – with large and plush wing-backed chairs and large, roaring fireplaces that bathed the room in a warm, yellowish glow.
Looking further around, he saw that most of the younger Slytherins were huddled by a large study table near some bookshelves situated at the corner of the room while the older Slytherins – particularly the sixth and seventh years – were seated near the large fireplace in the middle of the area. In the very center rug, directly a few meters in front of the fireplace, stood the largest wing-backed chair overlooking the entire Common Room and he knew immediately, it was a place of honor.
"Garrett…" Gabriel nudged his older brother lightly in the ribs again as they followed Draco across the room, trying to ignore the intense stares they were receiving from the other Slytherin students seated around the room. "What's that chair for? Who gets to sit there?" He asked curiously.
Following his gaze, Garrett suddenly scowled when he realized what Gabriel was referring to. Rolling his eyes, Garrett answered in a low whisper. "The 'High Seat'…where the leader of the Slytherins sits…The leader isn't appointed by choice…It's more of…implied…" Garrett's scowl deepened even more and Gabriel noticed that his twin brother was beginning to grit his teeth in growing anger.
Looking at him, Gabriel fused his eyebrows together in question. "How is it implied…?"
Sneering, Garrett rolled his eyes and shook his head. "It's not set in stone, really…Sometimes, the 'leader' is really just the one who earns the entire House's respect and loyalty. That was where You-Know-Who sat once before, you know…" He mentioned idly, causing Gabriel's eyes to widen.
Instead of answering, Garrett looked up across the room again, his eyes growing wide in surprise. Following his gaze, Gabriel looked up as well and the two of them both watched in amazement as their father, without any hesitation whatsoever, calmly sat down onto the 'High Seat'.
"Whoa." Gabriel's eyes were wide and even Garrett couldn't help but watch in amazement as Draco merely nodded at some of the greetings given to him by some of the other nearby Slytherins. Then, when he noticed that Gabriel and Garrett were still staring uncertainly at him from where they were standing awkwardly by the Common Room entrance, Draco smirked and gestured them over.
Feeling awkward as he felt the rest of the Slytherins' eyes on him, Gabriel hastily glanced down to make sure he was still wearing the Slytherin uniform Draco had lent him before he allowed Garrett to lead him over to where Draco was seated. As they walked across the room, however, it was obvious that even Garrett felt uneasy amidst all of the other Slytherins' quiet gazes upon them.
"Garrett…" Gabriel leaned in close to his older brother again just as they were passing by a group of Slytherin fifth years who were seated near the Common Room entrance. "In our time…You know…the future… Who…" He paused and glanced at Garrett, noting his strangely tense expression.
"Who sits on the 'High Seat' in Slytherin?"
Garrett was silent for a moment, as though he couldn't force himself to speak. Finally, when he looked back at Gabriel to answer, Gabriel was surprised to hear the defeat in his brother's voice.
Gabriel fell silent, unable to think of anything to say to this so instead, he just watched Garrett's expression carefully, noting the tenseness of his brother's features. He had always known that Garrett had been at war with Parker Skeffington since they had started Hogwarts, but he never realized the intensity of the whole issue. If anything, that just reminded him that he hadn't been spending enough time with his own twin brother lately – and at that, Gabriel felt even worse.
Fortunately, however, Gabriel was saved from the need to reply when at that moment, just as they had reached the middle of the room where Draco was seated with an entire group of Slytherin seventh years; the Malfoy Heir had addressed them again and brought their attention back to him.
"Well, sit down." Draco drawled, indicating lazily to the couch that was situated at his left side.
Flushing under the gazes of the other seventh-years behind Draco – particularly those of his Uncle Blaise and Aunt Pansy – Gabriel swallowed the lump in his throat and tried to get comfortable. Beside him, Garrett was scowling again and glaring at Draco with a glint of dislike in his green eyes.
Thankfully, Draco didn't seem to notice.
Garrett and Gabriel's attention were drawn to the voice of the familiar Slytherin who had spoken – that of Blaise Zabini, their father's best friend and Garrett's very own legal godfather. "—who are these two and what are you doing with them? I don't think I've ever seen them around school before." Blaise mentioned with a smirk, looking amused at Garrett and Gabriel's doe-eyed expressions.
At his remark, Draco just scoffed and glanced distractedly at the fireplace in front of him. "I don't want to talk about it, Blaise…You wouldn't believe what that old Crackpot Dumbledore has me doing this time." He grumbled, rolling his eyes as he flicked his gaze back lazily over at the twins.
"Which one of you is which, again?" Draco asked irritably, arching an eyebrow as he glanced back and forth between the twins in annoyance. Sighing, Gabriel gave his brother a quelling glare when it looked as though Garrett was going to snap back, and answered Draco's question instead.
"I'm Gabriel…And this is my brother, Garrett…" He replied, watching Draco uncertainly.
Draco stroked his chin in thought and he couldn't help smirking as he eyed Gabriel and Garrett again. "Hmm…You look awfully familiar…I just can't figure out why." He thought out loud to himself.
Before either of the twins could respond, however, Pansy suddenly spoke from where she was seated beside Blaise just a few meters away from Draco. "Well, I think you two are very handsome." She gave Garrett a wide saccharine smile, which Garrett responded to with a very awkward grimace.
"U—uhm…Thanks…" He muttered under his breath, ignoring Gabriel's snort of muffled laughter.
"For all your father's intelligence and being Head Boy…" Gabriel and Garrett both turned and glanced down at Sylens just as he had slithered up Garrett's arm. "He's certainly not very bright now considering that he's practically looking at a mirror of himself." The snake whispered in parseltongue.
Gabriel held back a laugh at this while Garrett just smirked but looked away, not wanting Draco or any of the Slytherins to notice their expressions. Eventually enough, however, the attention surrounding them began to die down. After some time, Draco was effectively distracted from asking them any more questions when a blonde Slytherin girl from sixth-year had suddenly walked up to him, situating herself on the Head Boy's lap and wrapping her arms around his neck with a flirtatious smile.
"Hey Draco…" The blonde fluttered her lashes coyly at him as she smiled again and adjusted her seating position so that she was practically straddling his lap. "I'm not doing anything this afternoon…" She began, pretending to bite her lip when Draco arched an eyebrow in amusement.
"Is that so…?" Draco's eyes narrowed in lust as he swept his gaze over her form, appreciatively noting the lowered neckline of her school blouse. "What are you suggesting, Ashley?" He drawled calmly, smirking even wider when 'Ashley's' only response was to smile seductively at him.
Leaning down, she let her lips linger teasingly along the outer shell of his ear. "Oh I think you know, Draco…" She whispered, much to Pansy's anger from where she had witnessed the whole scene.
"Ashley, would you get yourself off him? I thought you already knew he was mine!" She screeched, earning a scoff of derision from Ashley as she looked away from Draco and smirked at her.
"Oh? And here I thought that Draco was just drunk that night, weren't you love?" She giggled again when Draco just looked amused at their conversation and answered her with a lazy smile. Behind him, Blaise was rolling his eyes and had turned back to his Potions book in obvious boredom.
"Oh give it a rest, Pans…We both know Draco's not the type to settle down anytime soon and truth be told, this is really getting old." Blaise scoffed at her, rolling his eyes and sighing in annoyance.
"Oh it's not that I'm afraid to settle down, Zabini…But let's just say…I'm still waiting for the right girl—mmm…" Draco let his voice trail off as he allowed Ashley to straddle him again and pull him into a deep, heated kiss. When they broke apart, he shrugged and smirked back at Pansy and Blaise.
"—but then again, that doesn't mean I can't have some fun along the way, right?" Draco ignored Pansy's stammered protests as he allowed Ashley to pull him up from his seat by his tie. "I'll be right back you guys…But don't wait up." He winked at Blaise, who simply grinned back at him.
Under normal circumstances, Blaise would have managed to say something witty back to him but at that moment – just as Draco was following Ashley back up to her room – only Gabriel seemed to have realized that Garrett was positively seething in fury. The older Malfoy son had already jumped to his feet, his muscles tense and his teeth bared as he stalked angrily towards his clueless father.
Knowing exactly what was going to happen, Gabriel meeped and jumped up from the couch.
"GARRETT, DON'T DO IT!"
"HE'S A WOMANIZING PRICK, RIEL! I CAN'T JUST LET HIM GET AWAY WITH IT!"
"WE'RE NOT ALLOWED TO INTERFERE!"
Smirking and completely unaware of the situation, Draco had turned around at the sound of Gabriel's panicked, high-pitched yelp and looked up – just in time to see a fist coming right at his face.
In his shock, all Draco managed to do was to blink back stupidly at Garrett in confusion.
"What the bloody—"
Gabriel's eyes widened in disbelief as he watched his father fall into an unconscious heap on the floor. Immediately, Pansy and Blaise had rushed over to Draco in panic but unfortunately, Garrett didn't appear to be finished yet, and turning back around, he was now sneering angrily at Ashley.
The girl his father had been kissing…but she wasn't his mother.
Yanking his wand out of his pocket, Garrett ignored the rest of Gabriel's protests and pointed his wand directly at Ashley's cowering figure. "Let me show you what I think of girls like you."
As soon as the jinx had left his mouth, Garrett laughed gleefully and grinned as a sobbing Ashley – who was now tearfully covering her acne-covered face with her hands – fled from the room.
Groaning, Gabriel fell back onto the couch and dropped his head pitifully into his hands.
Now their father was really going to kill them when they get back home.
A/N: Awww… Who can blame Garrett, really? It's a horrible thing to see your father like that. *smirks* Oh by the way everyone…Just to clarify…This story will end BEFORE the events of TPG take place, alright? It will be impossible for me to intersect that time line, I'll have to rewrite the entire series for that to happen otherwise. *cringe* Hahaha. So… Who's excited for the next chapter? :D
Next Chapter: Hailene and Abigail with the Gryffindors in classes, the twins with the Slytherins in classes, and perhaps some (past) HP/DM interaction! :D
DON'T FORGET TO REVIEW! PEACE, LOVE, AND ALL THAT JAZZ! TILL NEXT TIME! :D