Hope you've enjoyed the story. Here's the happy ending you've all hoped for.
lilabennet - I'm going to take your rather negative review and read it as a compliment. I would love to write for a soap opera since one of my favourite shows is a soap opera. :P
Dutch Potterfan - Here's your happy ending.
QueenMinnie - Draco just wants to have Ginny in his life. He knows that if he denies her child that he'll lose his chance with her. Plus with the spell that he has, he can make it so the child is his in every way.
Airlady - What can I say, Lucius is Lucius. Draco and Ginny's relationship is definitely on the mend.
DracoluverAlanna - Hope this chapter answers your questions.
Okay, can I just say one thing here. If you don't like the story STOP READING IT! I don't care if you don't like it, I don't want to hear about it. Don't wait until the story is almost finished to tell me that the plot is implausible or I shouldn't do something or other or in the words of one reviewer, let Ginny fall in love with one person and stay with that person the entire story. It's FICTION people! If you don't like the story, that's fine, I don't care. That doesn't mean I want to hear every little thing that you don't like about it. If you have something constructive to say about it, then fine but really people, give me a break. If I don't like a story, i.e. the direction it's going in, I just stop reading and move onto the next story. I don't waste the author's time with a review about how ridiculous the plot is or some other silly thing, because to the author, it's not a ridiculous plot idea. That's where their muse has taken them, as is the case with me and my writing partner. We don't tend to sit down and plan out the whole story from opening paragraph to closing paragraph. One of us will get an idea for the initial story idea and then our muses do the rest. And we just let them take us where they may and if that means that Ginny or any other character ends up with multiple partners or getting their hearts broken more than once, then so be it! Accept it and move on or find another author's stories to read!
Okay, rant over.
On to the chapter.
Cindy a.k.a. Jamie
P.S. I've started posting the CSI stories that Isawien and wrote as well as our HP stories. I've started with Night Stalker, Dream Stalker.
Saturday October 24th, 1998
Château de Versailles
Galerie des Glaces
Seven months of peace had passed following Ginny and Lucius' rescue from Malfoy Manor, seven months during which Voldemort was suspiciously quiet; they had later learned he had been planning, letting them fall into a false sense of security, except his plans had failed.
During those months, they had managed to keep Ginny's return quiet, Ginny and Draco having moved to the residence of the Duc d'Orléans, Château de Saint-Cloud. The Court was none the wiser to any of these events, all within the plans Louise had been making for ages of how to get revenge on those who had been responsible for Ginny and Draco's separation after the wedding. That though had been put on hold with everything else going on in their lives.
The Weasleys had remained at the Trianon during that time, even Ron being brought when Hogwarts let out for the year and Molly quietly explained things to him, though he wasn't allowed to see Ginny until he had time to accept things. He wasn't exactly friendly with Draco; that would have be a sign the world was ending according to Hermione who had come to Versailles following graduation and dragged Harry with her for a time. Both Ron and Harry had returned to England before the summer was over, going to Auror training while for the time being Hermione had stuck around, intending to stay until her goddaughter, as she announced herself to be Ginny and Draco's daughter's godmother unofficially and there was no one who would convince her otherwise, was born. Louise, Molly and Arthur, had long since reached a compromise of sorts by the time the three Gryffindors had come, they would never be friendly, but they could be civil and cordial for Ginny's sake.
April had seen a week of celebration when Isidora Anastasia Mignonette Romanov de Bourbon was born on the twenty-first. If there was disappointment that the Queen's first child was a girl, none was apparent as the kingdoms rejoiced in the simple fact that the Line of Succession was re-established once more. The third generation to bear the name Isidora, like her mother before her she was immediately nicknamed 'Dora'. She had dark brown hair, and equally brown eyes, everyone assuming she took after Aleksander, only a select few knowing the truth that she took after Nikolay. Much to the surprise of Louise, Aleksander had quietly asked if Nikolay had been to see her yet when he saw the young La Dauphine for the first time; it seemed he had always known of his brother and wife's love, as long as they themselves had known. And he had known there was a chance that the child wasn't his, but he had no doubt the moment he saw her, that she was Nikolay's. After Nikolay arrived, the three came to an understanding, whether Nikolay's future bride ever learned of it was another matter… Nikolay and Louise would continue their relationship in private, while Aleksander had his own mistress who he loved a great deal, and if she bore any children he would be allowed to support them in quiet, the decision made that Aleksander and Louise would never come to each other's bed again. They were friends, he helped her rule, but they did not need be lovers. For them life would be quiet, peaceful, and happy as it could be, all things considered.
When little Dora was nearly five months old, her 'cousin' was born. Ginny went into labour early the morning of September nineteenth, leading to Hermione later teasing her about her goddaughter being her birthday present, and Dracen Annamaria Malfoy made her appearance in the world. Before the day was over, Draco had preformed the blood magic, binding his daughter to him, and any features she had that could have been traced to Lucius were gone, instead she took after Draco completely, his particular shade of blonde locks and blue eyes that all believed would if anything move to Draco's own shade.
It wasn't a week later that Voldemort came calling. Early in the morning hours of the twenty-third, the alarm was sounded pulling all of the château from their beds. Draco and Ginny had been staying in their appartements for a few more days as Madam de Barbarac fussed over Ginny and Dracen. Étienne and Bill had quickly moved the three to Louise's bedchambre where André and Aleksander's guard had already taken up position to protect Louise, Dora, and Aleksander who like Draco, Ginny, and Dracen, were brought there when the alarm sounded, dozens of Musketeers taking up guard in the Salon de l'Oeil–de–Bœuf and the Galerie des Glaces, even as the hundreds of other Musketeers took up defence against the Death Eaters. Hermione as well joined the small group after her guard finally decided enough was enough and actually picked her up then moved through the château when she wouldn't stop writing something or other. It wasn't until she was safely in the room with the others that she rolled her eyes and demanded a bit of Musketeer powder so she could send the message to Albus Dumbledore.
Louise had just shaken her head while muttering about knowing she had forgotten something as she gathered Dora close, sitting down on the bed next to Ginny who held Dracen, her free hand clasping Ginny's as they listened to the fighting. If Voldemort managed to get past the guard in the Salon de l'Oeil–de–Bœuf, then they would use the magic passages that would take them to the Trianon, but until then her bedchambre was the safest place within both the château and the Trianon, if they were forced to retreat to the Trianon, they would gather the Weasleys and anyone else within the Trianon, which included the other Ladies, and retreat to the palace in Navarre where Louis d'Artagnan V and Isidora resided. If Versailles fell, it wouldn't be long before Voldemort had travelled to the Trianon.
In all honesty, as they looked back after the fact, there had been no warning that Voldemort had managed to get past the guards in the Salon de l'Oeil–de–Bœuf, not until the doors of Louise bedchamber had been blown apart, Étienne, Draco and Aleksander's guards, Draco and Aleksander themselves, moving forward to block his path to Louise, Dora, Ginny, Dracen, and Hermione even as André quickly moved to begin moving the five females together so he could open the passageway to the Trianon. Both Ginny and Louise were looking back at their husbands in concern, even as Hermione took matters into her own hands and helped André by grabbing the sides of their robes and pulling them along towards the passageway.
And then, everyone sort of stopped when a voice called out from the Salon de l'Oeil–de–Bœuf, and Voldemort turned to find Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore, and rather suddenly, Ginny, Louise, and their daughters were forgotten as Voldemort had turned his attention to his 'mortal enemy'. Though, much to the annoyance of the two women, Draco decided to jump in and help Harry as he fought Voldemort, both promptly putting their foot down and telling André to stuff it when he tried to get them to go the Trianon even as Harry and Draco fought the supposed 'Dark Lord'. Everyone was sort of frozen in place, watching the battle take place, until André spotted the snake that was about to strike at Louise and he quickly jumped in between them, his sword already out and a moment later Voldemort was yelling as the snake lie dead, Louise and Ginny inching away from the body and sharing looks of disgust and fear, but still, much to André's annoyance, they continued to refuse to leave.
It was all rather quick after that, Draco distracted Voldemort and Harry cast the killing curse, and after a flash of green, his body laid on the floor and everyone sort of just stopped and stared a moment, not quite processing that it was over. Then, Louise handed Dora to Hermione as she moved towards Voldemort's body, quietly asking if he really was dead, and much to the amusement of those present, after the fact of course, once Draco had confirmed that he was, she promptly began to kick the former 'Dark Lord' in the head.
After that, Harry and Albus Dumbledore took Voldemort's body back to England where it was subsequently destroyed with a bunch of spells to ensure there wouldn't be any more further resurrections, and England began the process of rounding up followers, those in France rather gladly handing over Lucius to be put on trial for his crimes, even as he was given leniency for the fact he had been sold into his position and had no choice. From what they had heard through the grapevine, most likely he would be released to spend the rest of his days in England since he was officially banished from France and Navarre, and had been denied entry to any of the other kingdoms.
So, things had started to settle down some, Louise, Aleksander, and Dora had moved to the Trianon while repairs were made to the château and surrounding grounds, while Draco and Ginny happily returned to their château in Saint-Cloud, and the Weasleys quite happily all returned to England and Romania, leaving the Trianon home once more solely to Louise, her Ladies, and Aleksander. And with the freedom from fear of Voldemort, Louise quite happily turned her attention to the planning of revenge while waiting for the repairs to be finished.
The repairs were finished on the first of October, and Louise, Aleksander, and the Ladies happily moved back, eager to make new memories to erase the images of the attack. And on the tenth, Louise gathered together the Court, having already sent out the special requests of the presence of the Delacours and Narcissa. The Court was gathered in the Galerie des Glaces, the throne in place even as Aleksander sat.
"The Vicomté de Chagny, and his daughter, Mademoiselle Gabrielle," the herald announced and a moment later the two were making their way towards the throne where Gabrielle sunk into a curtsy as her father bowed. It obvious to everyone they were wearing their 'best' clothes.
Before anything else could be done though, the herald spoke again, announcing Narcissa this time who like the two before her, made her way down to curtsy before the Queen.
"Vicomté de Chagny, Madameoiselle Gabrielle, Madam Malfoy," Louise smiled as she indicated they should rise, before focusing on Gabrielle, "I have a question for you, my dear."
"Anything you wish to know, your Majesty," Gabrielle inclined her head.
"Did you, or did you not, use my name to perpetuate a lie you told in an attempt to gain the hand of the Duc d'Orléans?" she asked rather bluntly, all trace of smiles gone.
"What?" Gabrielle began in shock as she quickly looked towards Fleur.
"Oh dear one, do not look to her for help. She is after all one of my most trusted Ladies; you think she would not inform me of such an act of dishonour?" Louise chided.
"I beg your forgiveness, Majesty, I had no idea my daughter had done such a thing. And if she did, it was no doubt only out of misplaced affection for the Duc," the senior Delacour spoke.
"What do you mean you had no idea!" Gabrielle cried as she focused on him, "You're the one that told me the Queen knew that Draco was only marrying that horrid Weasley girl to get the title and he'd marry me as soon as I was sixteen!" she yelled before turning to the Queen. "It's true, I have his lock of hair as proof," she quickly pulled out the chain she wore around her neck. "Your Majesty I have no idea what my father is trying to do denying everything now..."
"This makes things a great deal more complicated," Louise mused as she sat back and looked at Gabrielle. "I suppose then we only have one solution," she continued as she looked beyond the three, "Can you explain things? Why young Gabrielle might have a lock of your hair?" she asked, then watched as the three turned to look behind them where Draco was making his way towards the thrones, taking in the look of panic that crossed Narcissa's eyes even as Draco moved to stand to Louise's right.
"There is only one possible way for Gabrielle to have gotten a lock of my hair, Majesty," Draco said. "And I assure you, it wasn't by my hand."
"Oh? Pray tell, how that might have been accomplished then?" she asked curiously.
"As you know, a person's hair can be used in various types of potions, many of them dark, so it is custom for me to burn the clippings after I have my hair trimmed. The only way Gabrielle could have possibly gotten a lock of my hair is if my mother had given her a lock of hair she kept from my first hair cut as an infant, much as I'm sure Ginny plans to do when our daughter is old enough for her first hair cut."
"Daughter?" Gabrielle shrieked, causing Louise to quickly look around the room in concern at the pitch, relieved to see nothing vibrating or breaking thankfully.
"Draco, how could you accuse me of something like that..." Narcissa asked. Whether her shock was real or not was another matter.
"Enough," Louise raised her hand, "Thank you. your Grace," she nodded towards Draco who merely inclined his head, knowing all of this was in her hands now. "As for you three," she focused on them, "Together, whether you realized it or not," she looked at Gabrielle, "you three have conspired to separate the Duc from the Duchesse for your own personal reasons. I made myself perfectly clear when you came to me with your objections to his choice of bride Vicomté, and still you turned around and continued to encourage your daughter when there was no chance. It is due to your actions that the Duchesse has suffered innumerable heartache and pain, and you still sit here today, having come expecting what? For the Duc to choose you, as his new bride? For your daughter to be in such a high and noble position, to make yourself my equal in your mind?" she looked first to Gabrielle, then the Vicomté, and finally Narcissa. "For that, you are all sadly mistaken," she continued evenly. "I am giving you this one chance, come clean about what you have done, and you might, might, receive some leniency."
Narcissa and the Vicomté both remained silent as Gabrielle looked between them, her sister, Draco, and Louise before finally stepping forward, "Forgive me, Majesty, all I wanted was for the Duc to love me as I loved him. My father told me the lock of hair was from Draco, that he wanted me to have it as proof of his promise and he had gone through my father since it would be impossible for us to see each other. I had no idea of Madam Malfoy's involvement or that my father was lying."
"Ungrateful brat," the Vicomté roared as he grabbed Gabrielle's arm and turned her towards him. "After all I've done for you..."
"Enough!" Louise yelled as she rose, a guard stepping forward and separating Gabrielle from her father. "Now then," she continued once everyone was silent. "Gabrielle Delacour, because you have done what your father and Madam Malfoy have not, and given your story as to what happened, you shall escape further punishment from me. However, a betrothal has been arranged between you and Daniel Parkinson, the eldest son of Count Parkinson. You will be allowed to take your lady's maid and possessions with you, and the wedding is to take place in two weeks time."
Gabrielle sunk to the floor in shock but otherwise remained silent as Louise turned her attention to the Vicomté, "You, Vicomté, are hearby stripped of your title, your lands, and your wealth. And in two days time you, along with Madam Malfoy, will be executed for your crimes against the throne."
"What!" Narcissa cried as she took a step back, the former Vicomté staring at her in shock.
"Unless, you can find someone here who would speak for you," Louise continued as if Narcissa had not spoken.
"I will speak for them," came a voice from the back of the hall.
Everyone in the Court turned and curtsied or bowed as Ginny appeared at the end of the hall, showing her the respect required by her place as the Duchesse d'Orléans, and as the wife of the second heir to the throne.
"My Lady..." the former Vicomté bowed as Narcissa stood there and stared.
"But you're supposed to be in England..." Narcissa sputtered.
"What can I say Narcissa, you have a very persistent son, and he refused to let me go," Ginny smirked as she walked passed the older woman. "Majesty, all I ask is that you show them the same courtesy they have shown me. I speak on their behalf only because Narcissa is my mother-in-law and Monsieur Delacour is my brother's father-in-law."
"Agreed," Louise nodded. "Monsieur Delacour, you and your wife are hereby banished from France and Navarre. Where you go, I do not care, though I suspect you may not find safe harbour in any of the other four Kingdoms. You as well Madam Malfoy, are banished from France and Navarre, I would suggest that you return to England and your husband."
A few Musketeers appeared to silently escort the three from the hall, as the gathered members of the Court refused to look at them. Once they were gone, Louise cleared her throat, "Where is the Musketeer, William Weasley?"
"I'm here, your Majesty," Bill said, stepping forward from his position just behind his sister.
"Fleur?" she looked towards where Fleur stood with the other Ladies, Fleur moving over to join Bill. "You have served faithfully as a Musketeer for almost four years," she continued as she focused on Bill once more. "And so I quite happily find myself with this particular task. From this day forward, I bestow upon you the title of Vicomté de Chagny. All the lands and money are now yours, as a gift for your years of service, and by birthright of your wife."
"I don't know what to say, your Majesty," replied Bill in shock.
"Thank you would be sufficent enough," she chuckled before looking at the gathered Court and rising. "Shall we?" she looked towards Aleksander who rose and took her hand, and together they began the trek out of the Hall as Draco took Ginny's hand and fell into step behind them, their guards behind them as the gathered Court knelt and sunk to the ground as they passed; Fleur pulling Bill ever so slightly to get him to walk with her as she joined the other Ladies who fell into step behind the group to leave the Hall now that the events of the day were through.
"Well, that was fun," Louise mused once they were traveling through the salons. "Are you alright, Ginny?" she looked over her shoulder at her friend.
"I've had better days, but that was a bit fun too," she shrugged.
"So what should we do now?" Anastasia spoke up.
"I say we get away from the Court. Winter's going to be here soon enough and will keep us from enjoying the grounds, why don't we go on the Grand Canal? Perhaps to the Ménagerie?"
"You just want a chance to sit and paint Drac and Ginny," Louise teased as she looked at Marina.
"Of course," she smiled.
"I think I can handle having a painting of the two of us," Draco smiled at Ginny, quickly stealing a kiss.
"Then to the Ménagerie we go," Louise laughed, "Give poor William a chance to process everything," she looked towards Bill who still seemed to be in shock.
"After we stop and get the children of course," Aleksander smiled as they entered the Salon de l'Abondance where Nikolay waited with Dora and Dracen.
"Are we going somewhere?" Nikolay asked with a smile as Louise separated from Aleksander to come over and kiss his cheek, then take their daughter while Ginny and Draco went to take Dracen from the bassinette she slept in.
"To the Ménagerie after a lovely gondola ride," Louise explained as Aleksander excused himself to go spend time with his love.
"Ahh," Nikolay nodded as he fell into step with her and the group continued through the secret passages, to avoid being bothered by anyone from Court, to the outside.
"You know," Louise began once they were all separated into gondolas and traveling towards the Ménagerie, her gaze resting on the gondola Draco, Ginny and Dracen shared. "I think even with all the complications that we're going to have in life once you have to wed, overall, we're all going to have very good lives."
"Of course we are. Because you are Queen, and wouldn't allow anything else," Nikolay smiled.
"Exactly. See, I knew there was some benefit to being Queen, ordained by God and all. So we are all going to live happy lives, and be together for the rest of them."
"Of course," he nodded. "As the Queen decrees."