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Keepers of the Flame by scarlet phoenix feathers

Format: Novella
Chapters: 15
Word Count: 28,958
Status: WIP

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Mild Language, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature

Genres: Drama, Humor, Romance
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore, Lupin, McGonagall, Fred/George, Ginny, Oliver, OC
Pairings: Arthur/Molly, Bill/Fleur, Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione, Other Pairing

First Published: 03/28/2005
Last Chapter: 06/17/2006
Last Updated: 06/17/2006

Summary:

****Thanks to hpfanf for the banner**** Sequel to "Life Goes On" Here it is, the Weasleys and Potters are getting on with their lives only to find themselves in a routine that Hermione and Ginny are hating. They take it upon themselves to change the things that have become too routine. And then, life is again turned upside down, yet again. How will they all deal with the pressures of being such a high profile family?


Chapter 1: Business as Usual
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Chapter One

Business as Usual


“Harry, wake up.” Ginny shook her husband. “You need to get showered and dressed while I start breakfast.” She laid his clean robes on the end of the bed and walked to the door.

“I’ll be down shortly, love.” Harry muttered sleepily from under his pillow.

Ginny smiled and continued down the hall to the back steps that led directly into the kitchen. She couldn’t help but worry about him. The dark wizard, Voldemort, had been defeated by Harry nearly eight years ago; then again Harry had always thought that others would try to follow in his footsteps. Just three years ago Lucius Malfoy had tried just that after breaking out of the wizard prison, Azkaban. Since that time Harry had spent a majority of his time at the Ministry trying to ensure that didn’t happen again. However Harry and Ron, Ginny’s brother, had really put their noses to the grindstone lately. Although the Ministry was fully staffed with Aurors Harry felt he had to be there to monitor everyone.

Once reaching the kitchen, Ginny quickly started the tea and bewitched eggs to crack into the skillet. She levitated toast into the toaster and had two plates shoot her direction from the cupboard along with tea cups. She thought if she was quick enough she would get to sit down and enjoy breakfast with her husband which had become a rare occurrence in their lives.

Not long after her setting the table she heard footsteps bounding down the stairs and quickly removed her apron trying to look a bit more attractive.

Harry ran into the room straightening his eyeglasses and trying to fix his tie. “Good morning, love.” He kissed her quickly and took a gulp from the tea cup and stuffed a piece of toast into his mouth. “Don’t have time for anything else. I’ve loads to do today.” He picked up his dragon hide briefcase and shot through the kitchen door into the lounge.

“Harry!” Ginny ran after him wanting more than that from him.

He was at his desk in the connecting study shuffling papers about and stuffing some into the briefcase.

Ginny remembered that briefcase. She had searched forever to find the perfect gift for him for their 2nd anniversary. It was treated dragon hide with gold hinges and locks. A gold plate also adorned the lovely piece of work and was engraved with Harry J. Potter, MOM Auror. He had been so proud of it.

“Harry!!!” Ginny had to say once again, this time a bit louder.

“Yes?” He quickly looked up at her as he shoved the last of the parchments into his briefcase.

“Can’t you slow down? I would like ten minutes with my husband.” She was nearly pleading.

“I promise I’ll be home early today.” He pecked her on the cheek again and apparated to work.

She looked at the clock on the wall to ensure that he arrived okay. It was force of habit. The clock, a gift from her Mum and Dad on their wedding day, was much like the one hanging in the Weasley’s House. The only problem with Harry and Ginny’s clock was that it only hosted two hands unlike the nine on Mr. and Mrs. Weasley’s. When she noticed Harry’s hand click to work she awoke from her trance and let out sigh as she plopped herself onto the sofa in front of the fireplace.

Ginny closed her eyes and laid her head back letting out another sigh. “Something has to be done about him” She said out loud. She began to think back to their days at Hogwarts and the time they spent apart during his training. When he returned they had been inseparable. Harry and Ron soon took the safety of all mankind onto their shoulders. . They wanted to get to the bottom of it all before any significant damage could be done, gradually taking on more and more until their jobs had become just too much. Ginny continued her work in the Magical Games Dept. and even filled in on occasion for the Chudley Cannons.

**********


Hermione Granger-Weasley rushed about trying to get breakfast to the table as quickly as possible. Ron was already dressed and had quills, parchments and files laying about the table. An enormous tawny owl flew in through the large kitchen window with their morning Prophet. Ron slipped a couple of coins into its pouch and flung the paper open, diligently reading the headlines to ensure nothing of great interest happened while he slept.

With a wave of her wand Hermione neatly stacked his mess to the side and sent a plate full of eggs, sausages and toast his way. “Eat up; you’ll need your strength to fight evil.” She smiled.

She was extremely proud of him, but she missed him dearly. He and Harry had been trying to single handedly rid the world of Dark Wizards.

“Good!” Ron said and began shoveling food down his throat.

“Good Morning Daddy.” A bright red-headed bushy haired girl slowly walked to the table rubbing her eyes and yawning.

“Good Morning Rose.” Ron said jumping and throwing the parchments into his briefcase and placing the files under one arm. “I’ve got to run, Harry will be waiting.” He raced over kissing Hermione quickly before kissing Rose on the forehead.

“Don’t forget practice today!” She reminded him with excitement.

“What!?!” He had forgotten.

The Children’s Quidditch League!” She yelled. She then turned to Hermione. “Mum, he forgot.” She whined.

Ron slapped his forehead. “I’m sorry Sweetheart. We’ve just been so busy. Mum will take you. I promise I’ll be there for the match, okay.”

She slowly nodded in disappointment and watched as he apparated to work.

Hermione looked at the disappointment in the little girls eyes. Ron had been so good with her; she hated to see them growing apart now. Hermione had conceived Rose before Ron left with Harry for their Auror training. It had been kept a secret that she, Ginny and Mr. and Mrs. Weasley had kept until their return. Ron had taken to her straight away. Hermione hoped that he would come around and see what he was doing to not only Rose but herself.

“Give me a second and I’ll be dressed to take you.” She said patting the little girl’s shoulder.

“That’s okay Mum, Uncle Charlie said he would take me. I thought that Daddy might forget.” She picked up her fork and began to eat slowly, never looking up.

**********


“Ginny!”

Ginny Weasley-Potter jumped at the familiar voice and saw Hermione’s face floating in her fireplace.

“Are you busy?” Hermione asked her.

“No, Harry just left.” Ginny sat up on the edge of the sofa, happy to have her best friend and sister-in-law there to talk with. “Come on through, we need to talk.”

“Sure thing.”

Hermione popped into the lounge and followed Ginny into the kitchen to grab a cup of tea.

“Where’s Rose?” Ginny asked as she placed the teapot and cups on the table. She sent the dirty dishes to the sink to begin washing themselves.

“Charlie’s taken her to Quidditch practice. She made keeper, you know.” Hermione stirred her tea and carefully laid her spoon onto the saucer.

“Oh wonderful. How excited is Ron?” She asked thinking about how much he worked as well.

“Let’s see. Rose isn’t a want to be Death Eater and Quidditch isn’t illegal dark magic.” She laid her finger on her chin, raising her eyebrows, she added sarcastically. “He hasn’t paid much mind at all.”

Ginny threw down her hand onto the table. “That’s it! I’ve had it up to my hat brim with those two! Something has to be done.”

“I agree, but what?” Hermione had already put a lot of thought into the problem.

“I don’t know yet, but I want my husband back. Do you know how long it has been since we’ve had a good snog much less shag?” Ginny didn’t normally find it necessary to discuss her personal life but drastic times call for drastic measures.

“I’m with you, sister!” Hermione now slammed her hand down onto the table. “Let’s go shopping.”

“Yeah…what?” Ginny looked shocked. Hermione wasn’t much of the shopping type.

“Yeah, that’s it. Find something they can’t resist. I’m going to see if Charlie and Cho will let Rose stay with them tonight.”

“Hermione,” Ginny smirked. “I like your way of thinking.”

**********


Hermione and Ginny raced into the Ministry but bypassed the Auror’s office and headed straight for the Minister’s office. Now, normally, most wizards would be required to make prior appointments with the Minister however under the current circumstances that wouldn’t be necessary seeing that the Minister was none other than Mr. Weasley. After a quick visit they headed on into the direction of their respective offices to make arrangements to take the day off.

Stepping out of the front of the Ministry Ginny stopped placing her hands on her hips. “Where to now?”

“Diagon Alley.” Hermione answered with a sly grin on her face.

A quick sweep through a few choice shops and the ladies were headed back to their own abodes and getting ready for the night ahead of them.


Chapter 2: Mischief Managed
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Chapter Two


Mischief Managed


Ginny lit candles all around the room and put on the slinky nightie that she had picked up earlier that day while shopping with Hermione. There was a plate of finger foods displayed attractively on a platter on the sofa table along with a bottle of wine that was chilling in the ice bucket. She had soft music playing on the wireless and positioned herself seductively on the overstuffed arm chair next to the fireplace. Her hair was curled and piled on the top of head with just a few curls falling loosely around her pale face.

“Ginny?” Harry called from the kitchen. “Where are you, love? I have great news.”

“In here,” She called from her spot, not having any intention of moving.


**********


Hermione wanted this evening to be something Ron would not soon forget. She made a trail of rose petals that made its way to their bedroom door. She bewitched the ceiling with twinkling stars and laid a fur rug in front of the fireplace. She ran a bath of warm water and added lilac oil for a soft sensual scent that would permeate the room. She had all of Ron’s favorite foods laid around the rug so that she could feed him. She didn’t want him losing his energy tonight. She slid into the baby doll attire complete with matching robe. The robe was simply for looks, being that it left very little to the imagination. She took great effort to straighten her hair so that it fell down her back perfectly. She sat herself in the chair facing a bookshelf when she heard footsteps coming up the staircase.

“Hermione, what’s with the flowers everywhere…Rose have another gnome roaming around in here?”

“Just follow the bread crumbs.”

**********



“Ginny?” Harry said again as he walked into the lounge. He dropped his briefcase at his side, mouth hanging open, as he saw her. “Wow!”

She was curled in his favorite chair wearing a very lovely midnight blue outfit that covered very little of her curvaceous body.

“I was hoping to get that reaction,” She ran her finger tips up her calf and then her thigh. “Mr. Potter, I have been waiting for you, it seems there is some unfinished business here at home.”

“I believe you may be right, my lady. It seems your husband has been neglecting you. What shall we do about that?” He never broke eye contact. He kicked off his shoes and began removing his robes.

“Well…it seems the punishment for said crime is time with the warden. He must learn his lesson.” She never smiled nor blinked.

Harry was now tugging at his collar, removing his necktie. “I quite agree. He can not continue to behave in this manner.” He released the last button on his shirt and slid it off, letting it fall to the floor with his robes. “Just what does the warden feel to be adequate punishment?” He began to unbuckle his belt and took a step closer.

“Now, Mr. Potter, these things must be handled with great thought. We can not risk that said offender having a relapse into his old ways.” She maintained a solemn look as she stood and began to walk towards him.

Harry couldn’t control the gasp that made its way from his lips. She looked amazing. She never once wavered and she began to intimidate him a bit.

She stopped in front of him and began running a finger across his chest and noticed him quiver at her touch. She traced her finger over his shoulder and around his back to the other shoulder. “This can be handled one of two ways,” She stopped directly in front of him wrapping her arms gently around herself.

Harry gulped; eyes wide. “And that would be?” He looked at her expression and quickly added, “Ma’am.”

Still no expression on her face, she raised one finger. “One…solitary confinement Mr. Potter, let’s see how you last alone.”

“And two?” He was becoming completely aroused at this point by her authority, but he didn’t dare rush her.

“TWO!” She then raised two fingers as she all but shouted, then she lowered her voice to nearly a whisper. “Twelve hours confined to this house with me,” She raised both arms and gestured to the structure around them. “With absolutely NO, I repeat, No interruptions.”

“Yes warden, do with me what you wish.”

**********


“Follow the bread crumbs, all I see are flowers,” He opened the door and all he saw was the back of the reading chair and a pair of very sexy legs hanging over the arms.

“Haven’t you ever read fairy tales?” She giggled.

“Uh…yeah…but…well,” He couldn’t finish a complete thought much less a complete sentence, and now standing next to the chair was the most beautiful thing he had ever laid eyes on.

“If it’s that hard to remember, maybe we should make up one of our own,” She let the robe slip from one shoulder and met him on the rug.

“That would be nice,” He could see the curve of her hips and wanted nothing more than to wrap his arms around her and pull her to him, but she stopped him.

Hermione began to undress him and pilled his things in the corner. With each piece she removed the more he was enjoying it.

“Where’s Rose?” He didn’t dare want her to walk in on this.

“With Cho and Charlie…all night, now shhhhh,”

Once he was there in nothing but a pair of boxers she walked to the bath. She soon came back and stopped behind him. He was scared to move. He didn’t want to ruin anything that she had planned. He felt her lips on his back. She touched his shoulders and ran her hands down his back and wrapped her arms around him.

“My dear Prince, I have waited for you to rescue me from this tower,” She said softly against his back.

Lovely Princess, I am sorry is has taken so long for me to return,” Her breath was warm and caused him to shiver a bit. “Please forgive me.”

“I have been held captive for so long, only thinking of you.” She took one arm and walked around him. “I am truly grateful you have returned to me.”

“I’ve been lost, but I have found my way back to you,” He now felt a deep pain of guilt in the pit of his stomach and knew that this wasn’t an act any longer. Her words contained more truth that she as letting on.

“Life has been so lonely and I have yearned for the touch of my prince,” She ran her hands up his chest and back down holding on to his sides.

This was hitting him hard, no more games. He put his arms around her and lowered his head to hers. “Hermione, I’m sorry,” He kissed her deeply, pulling her even closer to him.
She looked at him, tears welling up in her eyes. “Ron, I’ve tried to be supportive, but I’ve needed all of you for so long.”

“This has opened my eyes, I’m going to let the others do their jobs as well and stop trying to do it all.”


“Ron,” She couldn’t finish.

Ron lifted her gently and carried her to the bed lying her down and he began to kiss her. They had waited entirely to long for a night like this.


**********



Harry and Ginny lay in front of the fireplace entangled with one another, enjoying this time together. It had been so long since they had slowed down.

Ginny just remembered that Harry had mentioned some good news. She propped her chin on his chest looking up at him. “What was your good news?”

Harry had completely forgotten what just an hour ago he was excited about. “Oh,” his eyes lit up. “Well, Mad-Eye has banned Ron and me from the Ministry.”

“What?” Ginny sat up quickly. “Why did he go a do something like that, you just wait until I tell Dad,” She was thoroughly furious.

Harry chuckled, sitting up he pulled her back to him to keep her from popping into the Burrow completely naked. “Calm down.”

“What do you mean calm down, the Ministry is your life,” Her eyes were raging with anger.

“No Ginny…you’re my life, and Mad-Eye was kind enough to bring that to my attention. He said there were too many Aurors for Ron and me to be neglecting such beautiful wives…made us take a two week holiday.”

“Oh Harry!” She jumped at him throwing him back to the floor, kissing him.

“Oi, Ginny,” He had just had the breath knocked out of him. He couldn’t help but laugh at her enthusiasm. She began rambling uncontrollable.

“Oh, you can come to my practices; I’m filling in this week for Chudley. And Rose made keeper and has her first little game on Friday. We can all go and cheer her on. Mum and Dad will be so excited; we can picnic one day this week. What else can we do?” She sat there beginning to think ahead a bit more.

Harry was shocked she had taken the time to breath. “We have plenty of time for all of that. I may have to go back to work to be able to relax once you get through with me. And Ginny,” His face suddenly became sincere. “When I do return to work, it’s only eight hour workdays, unless there’s an emergency or something.” He shrugged like this was the most logical thing.

Ginny smiled trying to hold back the tears. “You promise Harry?”

“Yes love, I’m just sorry that it has taken me this long to come to my senses.”


**********



Hermione lay in the bath amazed at the attention Ron was giving her. He sponged off her back and kissed her neck.

“Why don’t we just lock ourselves in until someone decides to start looking for us,” She had no intention of letting him slip away.

“You may get tired of me sooner than you think,” He was waiting until the perfect moment to tell her the good news and she was walking right into his game.

“What do you mean?” Hermione asked stretching her neck to relax the muscles.

“Well…I kind of have been banned from the Ministry,” This was too easy. It took everything he had not to explode with laughter.

She turned to him with a quizzical look on her face. “Pardon Me?”

“I’ve been banned,” he said again, this time ducking his head, only because he knew he couldn’t look her in the eyes.

She now was looking shocked as the blood began to rise to her face. “Ron…what have you done know? Honestly, you and Harry get into more trouble now that you ever did at Hogwarts.”

“Mad-Eye said that we had been neglecting our duties,” He stood to get out of the bath, not trusting himself to finish the conversation if he had to face her.

“Oh…is that right? You leave before dawn and barely get home in time to tell Rose goodnight. Hell, we haven’t had a decent family meal in weeks. If you ask me you have gone above and beyond the call of duty,” She was now drying herself off and flipped her head over to wrap her hair in the towel.

Hermione, really, come on, it’ll be okay,” He picked up his robe and put it on, tying a knot. He slid on his slippers and waked into the bedroom picking up a tray of food by the fireplace.

Hermione stomped into the room. “You’re damn right it’ll be okay, Mad-Eye will rue the day he said you neglected your job,” She grabbed Ron’s arm. “Are you listening to me?”

The minute Ron turned around she knew e was pulling her leg. His mouth was stuffed and he was nearly choking to hold the laughs down.

“What is with you?” She wanted to slap the smirk off of his face.

“Honey, yes we have been banned, but not because we have neglected our Ministry jobs. It is because we have neglected our homebound jobs. He has sent us on a two week holiday.”

Hermione jabbed him in his ribs, he caught her and pulled her close, setting down the tray of food.

“Seriously Hermione, Harry and I agreed we have been overworking and that we should enjoy what we have. Things are going to change.”

“Wonderful, Rose will be so excited. Maybe you and Harry could help coach,” She beamed with excitement.

“Great, I can’t wait to see her on the pitch.”

“She has great skill, muck like her Daddy,” Hermione hugged him tight and tiptoed to kiss him. “Mmmm…strawberries.”




Chapter 3: Quidditch, Weasley Style
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Chapter Three


Quidditch, Weasley Style


Harry looked out onto the Quidditch pitch and listened in as Oliver Wood discussed the strategies for their upcoming game. The Chudley Cannons had been doing extremely well since Oliver had taken over as captain. Harry found himself having flashbacks as he stood there listening to the same exact speech he had been given by Oliver as a first-year at Hogwarts. Harry quickly noticed an owl flying towards the pitch at full speed. As the owl landed on Oliver’s shoulder he untied the post, mumbling about slacking team mates that couldn’t get to practice on time. After unrolling the parchment he quickly began reading.

“Bloody Hell!” Oliver screamed as he threw the parchment on the ground, stomping it. “Well, it seems that Tice has landed himself in St. Mungo’s. He apparently tried apparating home from the pub last night. The drunken bloke has gotten himself splinched…just what the hell are we going to do now?” He asked as he continued stomping the parchment, grinding it into the ground as though it made him feel better.

Ginny spoke up. “What about Harry?”

Harry’s eyes widened as he shot a glance at her. He was out of shape and he hadn’t practiced in ages, especially with Wood. What was she thinking?”

“Hey,” Oliver suddenly looked excited. “Would you Potter?”

“I haven’t been on the pitch in ages. I can’t be nearly as good as I once was.”

“Oh, come on, once a seeker, always a seeker…you don’t forget!” He was pleading at this point and even looked as if he were about to fall to his knees to grovel appropriately. “We’re playing Wisbourne, you are our only chance.”

“Harry…please?” Ginny tried desperately to sadden her look; she knew exactly how to get to him.

He finally broke under the pressure. “Okay!” He had no trouble saying no to Oliver, but Ginny was an entirely different story.

“All right,” Wood all but hugged Harry. “Get your broom and let’s get crackin’.”

Harry mounted his broom and pushed off from the floor of the pitch. Being in the air was like therapy. Before long he was zooming in and out of the clouds nose-diving at top speed and just before colliding with the ground he pulled out of it just like it was second nature. He twirled, faked and looped all around the pitch. He almost believed he was back at Hogwarts, Wood was right. It felt as though he hadn’t missed a single day of practice. Once he found his groove he watched Ginny as she performed a spectacular move, scoring on Wood. She was truly impressive. She made turns so smoothly you would have sworn she had wings. This was going to be fun.

**********


The entire Weasley family was gathered at the Burrow enjoying a great evening with food, games, and laughter. Charlie and Cho were sitting in an armchair chatting with Mrs. Weasley who was fussing over their newest family member, Chelsea. Bill and Fleur had two little boys, Cash and Buck, who were running around the room at full speed heading for the back door. Percy and Penelope had them all beat with four rambunctious little boys that had made their way to the garden to do some de-gnoming. They loved it, flinging the little creatures halfway across the field and watching them stumble, not knowing where they were going, kept them laughing. Percy Jr., better known as P.J., was the eldest followed by the twins, yes, Percy was being punished, Hunter and Jaeger, and finally the baby, Tristan, were all the cutest little boys with the same fire-red air as the rest of the Weasley’s.

Fred and Angelina had a little girl that was just as spunky as her father. At this time, Annabelle was climbing on her grandfather along with her cousin, Samantha, who was George and Susan’s. Fred and George had always managed to do everything together. They eloped to America and were married in Las Vegas of all places, and their daughters were even born just 4 days apart.

“Grams!” Rose screamed as she ran through the front door. She rambled on about Quidditch and her first game. “Daddy’s going to help coach, everyone has to be there, it’s on Friday, only three days Grandpa,” The bright eyed girl was talking so fast she was beginning to stumble over her own words.

“Calm down, Honey, there’s plenty of time for all that,” Ron tried to urge her outside to play.

“How’s the Mandatory vacation going?” Mr. Weasley asked.

“Are you kidding?” Hermione answered first. “I’m grateful to Mad-Eye and you, Dad.”
She suspected that he had something to do with it as well. Since the death of her own parents and all the time she had spent with Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, they thought of her as their own even before Ron and she were married and insisted that she refer to them in a not so formal manner by calling them Mum and Dad.

“Mum, Dad!” Ginny yelled as she and Harry apparated into the kitchen.

“We’re all in the lounge, darling,” Mrs. Weasley announced above the crowd.

Harry and Ginny walked in not seeing a lace to sit. “Okay, something’s got to give. Mum, both you and Dad need to get a larger lounge or everyone needs to stop having kids.”

Bill laughed and deep laugh, “We’re Weasley’s; you should be use to a lot of kids running around. If nothing else we Weasley’s can multiply.”

“You’re not kidding,” Hermione crossed her arms and rolled her eyes. “Ron hasn’t shut up about giving Rose a brother or sister.”

Harry nudged Ginny wanting her to announce the game, he still felt intimidated by her older brothers. He was getting a bit too old to be taking swims in the garden pond. Bill, Charlie, Fred and George considered throwing himself and Ron into it a great past time, the least amount of attention that they paid to him the better.

“We have great news,” Ginny erupted. “Harry and I are filling in this Saturday as seeker and chaser for the Chudley Cannons.”

“Alright!” Ron yelled. “Harry’s back in the air with the Chudley Cannons.”

Ginny quickly explained what had happened with the Cannons seeker the night before. Mrs. Weasley shook her head. “What a shame, they are supposed to be role models; I tell you, getting pissed and splinching himself. What kind of example is he setting?”

“Mum!” Ginny looked at her as if to tell her Harry needed her support.

“Oh, but Harry, it should be great fun for you,” She looked at her son-in-law, hoping she hadn’t hurt his feelings.

Charlie tried lightening the mood. “How about a practice match?”

Harry shot Charlie a glare. “That’s quite alright there mate, I don’t need a bath just yet.”

“Come on Harry, I promise no practical jokes, Wizard’s Honor.” Charlie raised his hand, grasping his wand, saluting.

”Oh, it would be fun, just like old times, come on everyone.” Cho jumped from her seat.

Charlie’s forehead wrinkled with worry, “Should you be playing, it hasn’t been that long since you had Chelsea.”

“For Merlin’s sake,” Mrs. Weasley snapped. “If I had taken off after each one of my children I would have never accomplished much of anything,” She turned to Cho. “You go on dear, I’ll look after Chelsea.”

Fred grinned, “All right then, let’s go!”

Within minutes the entire family was at the Quidditch pitch. They had all put in a great deal of time and effort to build the pitch; between Hermione and Fleur the muggle repellant charms were as strong as any. An enclosed observation tower was also put in for spectators. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley made their way to the top with the children. Penelope joined them while Percy and Fleur served as officials.

“Look here, my wife is an official.” Bill gloated, thinking this might give him an advantage.

“Mr. Weasley, you will receive no special treatment. This game will be fair,” She assured the others.

Ron and Harry pulled the box from the storage closet in the ground floor of the tower.

Percy quickly stepped up and began assigning the teams. “Okay, each team will consist of one keeper, one seeker, and being that we are limited to as to how many bodies we have there will be only two chasers and one beater to each team,” He took a deep breath.

“We got it Professor Percy,” Fred mocked.

The group split up into teams, Charlie and Harry were seekers with Charlie taking Angelina and Cho as chasers, Bill as Keeper and Fred as beater. Ron would be keeper with Harry, Ginny and Susan were chasers and George was beater.

Susan looked terrified, “I’m not really good,” Her voice quivered.

George leaned into her and whispered, “Don’t sell yourself short, love, you’ll do fine. Now kiss me for luck.”

Susan gave George a quick kiss and mounted her broom. Harry conjured bright red scarves for his team and Charlie quickly followed suit and conjured gold. Percy opened the crate and released the balls and away they went.

Mr. Weasley turned towards the Burrow and to his amazement he saw Mad-Eye Moody walking in their direction. He waved and pointed down to indicate the entrance of the tower.

Mad-Eye may have been a bit of a paranoid git but he had a soft spot where the Weasley’s were concerned. He wound his way up the spiral staircase and entered the warm room.

“Arthur, good to see you,” He crossed the room shaking the hand of the Father of all Redheads.

“Great Mad-Eye,” He looked out watching the match. “This is the life, isn’t it?”

“You are a lucky man,” He had always wanted a family, but things hadn’t worked out for him. “How are the guys enjoying their holiday so far?”

“I think they are adjusting,” Mr. Weasley laughed. “By the way, thanks.” No one had known but Mr. Weasley had tipped Mad-Eye off about the trouble the kids had been having.

“No Problem!” Mad-Eye looked amazed as he watched the game. They were all good, swooping here and there, diving and passing with grace.

Ron leaned out to block the attempted goal by Angelina; she spat a few choice words as she went on the defense. He threw the quaffle at Susan and she sped directly to the other end of the field. George cheered her on while slamming the bludger in Bill’s direction, as he dodged the speeding ball of death, Susan bit her lip and dig deep to throw the ball straight through the center hoop.

“Bloody brilliant,” They all heard Ron scream from across the pitch throwing both fist into the air over his head.

Charlie had allowed himself to be distracted by the drama taking place at the goal post. He never noticed Harry zooming to the opposite end of the grounds and grasping the fluttering gold ball.

“Red Wins!” Percy’s voice reverberated around the pitch.

“Bloody Hell,” Charlie’s voice screeched.

“Kiss my Arse!” Angelina cursed the outcome.

“Okay dear, let’s go,” Fred laughed.

“Shut up Fred,” She spat at him. She really hated losing, and had always fit in with the Weasley’s so well. She had a temper as bad as they did, if not worse.

Mr. and Mrs. Weasley came down from the tower with the children in tow.

“Come on, time to eat,” Mrs. Weasley announced. That was all it took, the entire bunch dashed back to the Burrow for a Weasley feast.



A/N Thanks to all of you who have come back for more of our favorite family. I thought this was a fun chapter and that the family needed a little fun time. I wanted to get another chapter up before I really had to dig my heels in for the last few weeks of school. So, be forewarned, I will not be able to update again until May. I am sorry for the wait however I must really put my nose to the grindstone in order to get through this semester. So again, thanks to all of you for the patience and I look forward to seeing you again once the semester is over….YEAH!!!!


Chapter 4: No Rest for the Weasley and Potter
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Chapter Four


No Rest for the Weasley and Potter


The Weasley men were all hearty eaters and another characteristic that they shared was the fact they seldom slowed down to chew their food, much less taste it. Although Ron was the youngest of them, he could very well be the leader when it came to bad table manners.

There hadn’t been much discussion seeing that everyone seemed famished from the day’s events. So, when Mr. Weasley stood up from his chair and cleared his throat the family took notice.

“Before any of you decide to dash off, I would like to request you all return tomorrow night.”

Rumbles began to erupt around the table. “Come on, Dad,” Fred had been the brave individual to protest verbally.

Mrs. Weasley shot a piercing glare in his direction. “Fred Weasley, if your father says you are to come here tomorrow, you will, without a single complaint.”

Soon thereafter, couples began to collect their children with the exception of Harry and Ginny. Although Harry desperately wanted children, they had not yet been blessed as of thus far. There had been several mediwizard visits but there had yet to be a diagnosis. The Mediwizards, along with Healers thought it could be a side effect of “the curse”. They had all taken to calling it that and whispered as though it were contagious or some secret making Harry feel even more self conscious than normal. No matter the reason, Ginny had promised to stand by Harry. She had plenty of brothers, and they would produce more than enough children for them to help with should they like.


**********



“Daddy!”

Ron felt his eyelid being forced open by very small fingers.

“Are you in there? Come on Daddy! Mum says breakfast is about ready.”

Ron had to squint as he opened his eyes. The sun flooded in and came to a rest across his bed. He ran both fingers through his head and once his eyes adjusted themselves he looked at his bright eyed beauty. “Good morning, Sunshine.”

Rose tugged at the arm closest to her with great force to urge him out of bed. “We have practice, you promised, remember?”

“I sure do. I am ready to see just how good my little girl is.” He jumped to the edge of the bed. He didn’t bother to dress just yet; he scooped up his pride and carried her to breakfast.

Hermione had just arranged the plates on the table and sent the teapot, as well. She could hear Ron’s large feet bounding down the stairs, sounding a bit like a heard of charging hippogriffs, then, through the door, entered a tall and handsome Ron with a very excited child in his arms. He set her to the floor and she bound into her seat at the table. Ron’s hair had a mind of its own, standing on end, showcasing a very prominent cowlick. He was sporting a very rugged looking pair of Chudley Cannon pajama pants and a black shirt that said, ‘Support the Ministry, Kiss and Auror Today!’

Hermione smiled and walked to her husband. “Let me do my part in supporting the Ministry, Auror Weasley.”

“Every little bit helps,” Ron said sheepishly picking her up allowing her feet to dangle just out of the reach of the floor, and kissed her.

“Pa…lease,” Rose shouted, making a face at her parents. “I’m trying to eat here.”

They both laughed, continuing about their morning.

**********


Harry and Ginny sat in the lounge, one on either end of the sofa with their feet propped in the center and toes just touching. The mid afternoon breeze swept in the open window, carrying with it the sweet smell of the honeysuckle that grew up the exterior wall. Both of them had parchment rolled open in front of them, diligently studying the contents. As Ginny took a slow sip from her tea, Harry furrowed his brow.

“Did you see formation 27?” Harry shook his head as he too began sipping on his morning tea.

“Absolutely, but you wait until you see 39,” She wrinkled her nose and squinted her eyes as she tried following the little dot that was intended to represent herself.

“I always thought Oliver was a bit insane, but now I know he is absolutely mental. Someone could get themselves killed making some of these moves,” Harry turned his parchment in several directions, trying to find a better angle.

“You are definitely getting old, Mr. Potter, you would have never thought about how dangerous a move was when you played in school,” Ginny teased.

“Oh, is that…”

Just as Harry began to retort with a remark a knock reverberated from the front door. They looked at one another wondering, one, who would be knocking at their door, and two, who would do it in the middle of the day when most were working.

Harry lay own his parchment on the sofa table and placed his socked feet to the bare wooden floor. Skating his way to the door, Ginny laughed at his graceful skating techniques. He pulled the door open, laughing, and there with a child on either side of her, stood a tear stained faced woman with drooping eyes. The smile fell from Harry’s face as Ginny sat her parchment down to join Harry at the door.

Harry took a second, and then spoke. “Daisy…WH…what,” Before he could finish his question, her knees buckled as her eyelids fluttered and eyes rolled into the top of her head. Harry lunged forward, catching her just before she hit the stone of the front step.

Ginny rushed forward to offer any assistance and gather the children. As she led them trough the door she took a quick peek trying to see if anything out of the ordinary was going on outside. As she led Granger and Winnie into the hose, Harry had already placed the small framed woman on the sofa.

**********


“George, have you finished with the supply list.” Fred yelled from the office. “We need to start on inventory for the third store.”

Fred and George, with a great deal of help from their wives, were now planning a third shop to their already extremely successful shops. The second, in Hogsmeade, was doing exceptionally well and even better on Hogwarts weekends. Since Mr. Weasley had become Minister, Ottery St. Catchpole was gradually becoming a hot spot for wizardkind. They had invaded and taken over, moving in and building up their own businesses. Fred and George decided that it was about time to join in by placing their own there.

“Fred, have you forgotten about your parents?” Angelina walked in, carrying Annabelle who was crying. “It is time to close up shop and get going, and George, Susan said she and Samantha will meet you there.”

“Thanks,” George called at her.

Angelina didn’t know for sure, but she had a suspicion that the ‘thanks’ was for getting him away from Fred rather than the message from Susan. “Anytime,” She winked, and she then knew it was for getting him from Fred. George smiled, shook his head, and made a mad dash for his cloak before apparating.

Angelina walked into the office, where she placed Annabelle on the floor before walking to Fred’s desk. Tea cups sat all over stacks of invoices, stains forming on them. A large parchment sat, rolled out, displaying plans for the new shop. Fred had a quill stuck behind one ear and another between his lips. He spoke from one side of his mouth as the quill flopped up and down in his mouth.

“Is it that late already, I feel like I just got here,” He cocked an eyebrow and scratched his head.

“Yes, so let’s get going.”

Fred threw down the quills and stood up from his seat. “A bloke can’t get anything done!”

He led Angelina and Annabelle to the fireplace. “Come on pumpkin, Daddy will take you with him,” He kissed his wife’s cheek and stepped into the fireplace, and Angelina followed soon after casting the locking charm on the shop.

**********


The family soon arrived one by one into the fireplace of the Burrow, instantly making their ways to the table set up with appetizers. Curiosity was high amongst the children not knowing what their Dad had in store for them. Rose was standing on the sofa mimicking the moves she had tried that day at practice for her uncles and cousins. Mrs. Weasley fussed over the smaller of the children, while Hermione and the other ladies laughed about the way the men were acting at the thought of Quidditch.

Mr. Weasley say back enjoying the sight of his enthusiastic family wondering what was taking Harry and Ginny so long. He was bursting to the gills with anticipation of his announcement and didn’t think he could last much longer. Just as he was about to raid the table of food a knock came at the door. He crossed the room and opened the door to find nothing there but the wind. Just as he threw the door forward it stopped with a thud against…Harry and his invisibility cloak, carrying a woman. The blaze from the fireplace produced Ginny along with the children that had appeared at their front door earlier that day.

Ron noticed immediately who the woman was as stepped for ward to help Harry who obviously looked as though he needed it.


A/N: I would like to thank all of you for your patience while I finished up my semester. And I am sorry that the update was not made yesterday as I promised, but I needed a day break from the keyboard and monitor. So instead I spent the day tweaking my chapter by the old fashioned way with pen and ink. Hope you enjoy.


Chapter 5: Daisy's Secret
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Chapter 5


Daisy’s Secret


The Weasley family stood in awe as Harry handed the young woman over to Ron. As Ron placed the wear y woman in a chair near the fireplace the other family members began to hover once they recognize the woman. Ginny and Harry, both were bombarded with questions as they tried calming the group.

Daisy tried straightening her still weak body to the best to her ability as the children each made their way to her side.

“Please, everyone calm down, we can’t explain much of anything with all the questions,” Ginny announced. “I think it would be best if all of the children went on upstairs for a bit,” She also suggested.

“Great,” Rose proclaimed loudly. “We can go out back and I can show the others the new moves I learned.”

“No!” Harry and Ginny said simultaneously.

“Well, what we mean is, it’s getting late and a bit chilly. Upstairs would be best,” Harry explained. He was really thinking of the dangers that could possibly be waiting out there.

One by one the children swaggered slowly upstairs sulking all the way. Daisy urged her children on to join the others. Reluctantly they obeyed.

Mrs. Weasley appeared at Daisy’s side with a hot cup of tea. “What is going on?” She questioned the newest arrivals. Everyone soon took there seats to wait patiently for the explanation of their strange arrivals.

Harry took the cue to begin. “Daisy showed up this afternoon at our door, collapsing upon her arrival. We first thought her to be injured but her collapse was due to complete exhaustion. Once she came around she went into a tale that I think would be best told be herself.”

The eyes and attention of the Weasley family then turned in her direction. She felt her face flush with heat, hoping she could get through the horrid details without breaking down. She took a slow sip from the tea offered her and began.

“Yesterday morning started off like any other,” She began slowly. “Draco and I sat at the kitchen table with the children having breakfast and discussion the day’s events. Upon finishing their breakfast the children asked to visit the lady across the back alley that has become a grandmother figure to them. So, I left Draco to finish his tea and I stepped out to deliver the children,” She stopped for a moment as a tear began to develop. Mrs. Weasley placed a hand on her shoulder, patting her for comfort.

“When I returned, I found Draco being held at wandpoint by a man he obviously didn’t know,” She paused again trying desperately to remain composed.

“But, once I looked the man in the face, I wanted nothing more that to wake up from the horrible nightmare that was unraveling before me. There were things that none of you know about me…horrible things…things that could endanger everyone in this room.”

The air in the room became stale as the stillness engulfed them. They knew little of Daisy and the life before Draco. What could she possible say to jeopardize their family?

“Before I continue I will understand should you want me to leave. I will gather my children and seek help elsewhere,” she stopped to listen for confirmation of her fears of banishment.

“Daisy, we will not turn our backs on someone in need,” Mr. Weasley assured her.

Bill took it upon himself to speak for the others. “We are Weasley’s, we do not step down from a battle, and we do not turn our backs on friends.”

“That is all true, dear Brother,” Percy agreed. “However, can we hear the rest of your story?”

“Draco had always told me how loyal a family you were, and yes, I shall continue. The man that held Draco was my…brother,” as Daisy made that announcement gasps slipped from people around her. “But there’s more to my family. I ran from them, I deserted them and gave up the lifestyle they led.”

Daisy paused, trying to read the faces that looked on with close attention. She tried taking a deep breath to calm herself. The room looked into the lap of the young woman and watched as her clasped hands shook, whether it be fright or nerves, their hearts went out to her.

“You see, my family is full of dark wizards, but they had never been followers of Voldemort. My grandfather began the escapade by dragging his family all over the world. And in turn my father did the same to us. We all became great actors, the changing of names, accents and memories in order to hide out identities. It was all part of the bigger picture of taking over. They were doing nothing more than waiting for the final fall of Voldemort.”

“Daisy, I think we need Mad-Eye here. He needs to hear all of this,” Mr. Weasley suggested.

“You don’t understand Mr. Weasley, I have taken a risk by telling you all, they will hurt Draco,” She began sobbing. “They will kill him.”

“No one has to know and Mad-Eye is the best when it comes to strategies. He will know how to help Draco,” Mr. Weasley reassured her as everyone agreed.

**********


It took very little time for Mad-Eye to be convinced to join them once Mr. Weasley filled him in on the events thus far. When he arrived he sat quietly across from Daisy.

“When you continue, don’t forget every detail. They are very important.” Mad-Eye said slowly and calmly.

“My brother was very formal, not allowing me much room to ask questions. My father had ordered him to take Draco, not harm me, and demand I gain access to the Malfoy fortune and turn it over to him. However, I know the not hurt me part is negotiable; they will do anything to get what they want. I tried to explain there was not any fortune to claim.”

“What was his reaction?” Mad-Eye leaned in for the answer.

“He just repeated the demands in a commanding, deep voice and said that if I wanted Draco back alive I would do it without contacting the Ministry,” She sniffed as she wiped a tear from her face.

Mad-Eye then had a confused look on his face. “And who is your family?”

Daisy waited a moment, running through the reaction in her head. “My grandfather was Belus Slytherin; making me and my children descendants of Salazar Slytherin,” She didn’t need to look around, the room remained silent and still, no one wanting to be the first to react. “My grandfather’s goal was to take over our world, but he was a coward, at least when it came to Voldemort. He cursed his name. I often heard about Harry; he was what my grandfather had been waiting on. I tried leaving that part of my life behind =, but they have found me. And they are making me pay dearly for my defection. I have been sick with worry, not only for Draco, bur for my children.”

“To begin, we need to find a safe place for you and the children to stay,” Mad-Eye told her.

“We can take care of that,” Ginny volunteered.

Mad-Eye nodded, showing his approval. “Also, have they told you when you are to have the money?”

“My brother said he would contact me in a month,” She said in a clear voice. “I just don’t know if I can do it.”

“You need to carry on as normal,” Mad-Eye stressed. “Act as…”

“Carry on as normal!” Daisy screamed as she jumped to her feet. She began to cry through the screams. “My husband could possibly be dead, my children’s lives are also at stake and my family is the responsible party, but you want me to be normal.”

“I understand you’re upset,” Hermione jumped in, “but Mad-Eye is right; you can’t let on that anything is wrong.”

Mad-Eye continued. “And I need time to figure out a good plan.”

“WE need to work out a pan,” Ron corrected.

“Hold on Ron, just give me a few days to come up with something, then if I can’t, you are more than welcome to jump in.”

“In the meantime,” Charlie added, “we will all keep our eyes on Daisy and the children.”

“Well, now that that is settled, let’s feed the children, they must be starved,” Mrs. Weasley concluded. Her motto being, when all else fails, eat.

Mad-Eye joined the family at dinner, although their minds wondered they tried to make the rest of the evening as pleasant as possible. The children ate and laughed, not having the slightest clue that there was anything remotely wrong.

Fred tried to start a discussion, “Harry, can you explain why you carried Daisy over in the invisibility cloak while Ginny and the children came by floo powder?”

“Daisy was…” He looked at the children as he chose his words, “exhausted from her days work and we were afraid to allow her to attempt apparating or traveling by floo alone. But she and I both wouldn’t fit into the fireplace for me to assist her, so we chose the most concealed form of travel, the invisibility cloak.”

“Not to change the subject, but when are the Quidditch scrimmages?” Bill asked as he glared at his brother for his bad choice in questions at the moment.

Ron grinned, “Rose’s game is tomorrow.”

“And the Cannons pre-season scrimmage is the day after,” Ginny confirmed.

“And Daisy, you and the children are expected to be there,” Mrs. Weasley informed her.

With a slight, tired smile, she nodded, “yes, Ma’am.”




A/N I am sorry for the delay, the change in weather and loss of air conditioning set me back a day or so. We topped the week off with record highs of 104 degrees and the ar conditioning went…well, shall I say down the drain. So, I hope you enjoyed the chapter and I also hope the wait wasn’t too much of an inconvenience.


Chapter 6: Brainstorms and Broomsticks
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Chapter 6


Brainstorms and Broomsticks


Rose smiled from ear to ear as her entire family ran to meet her at the floor of the Quidditch pitch after her team made their victory lap. But, winning wasn’t the best part of the day, that would have to be the fact that her father was actually there, looking up to her with the same smile she had on her face.

“Hey, you little fireball, get down here,” Charlie yelled to his niece.

Bill lifted his hand to shield the bright sun, smiling as well. “I haven’t seen a girl block that in ages. And to think she’s only seven year’s old.”

“I hope that I can be good enough to play for Chudley someday,” she announced.

Fred rolled his eyes and patted George. “Not another one.”

“Yes, another one,” Rose mimicked, as she made a face at her uncles, “so get used to it.”

Daisy tried desperately to maintain a happy face, but her thoughts were full of Draco and their situation.

As the family discussed how to celebrate the win, one by one they noticed Mad-Eye approaching them with great determination.

“Hey, Mad-Eye, did you see my granddaughter’s great performance out there,” Mr. Weasley said with a great deal of pride.

“Yes, I did, great job Rose,” he said as he pinched the tip of her nose. “I’ve got news, Arthur, great news.”

Daisy perked up at his words and rushed nearer to his side.

“Let’s meet back at the Burrow so we can discuss this more quietly,” Mr. Weasley suggested, looking around suspiciously for eavesdroppers.

**********


The children were properly fed, as were the adults, and sent off, yet again, to entertain themselves. The room settled quickly, full of anticipation of what Mad-Eye had come up with so quickly.

“I have come up with a brilliant idea, but it will take everyone, and I mean everyone, to pull it off. To begin, Daisy, no one might know this but the Ministry has been watching your family for a very long time, including yourself. It has been a very hard task and we have lost you all many times. When I heard your story, it all made perfect sense. The problem we are facing is the habit of your family to move so much. They are in a different city, even countries in a matter of a week. Watching them will be hard.”

Daisy’s spirit seemed to be lifted. “Then we should be able to get to Draco?”

“Yes, but like I said, everyone will need to help.”

“What do we need to do then?” Ron spoke up.

“After thinking all night and day, I couldn’t for the life of me think of a way to follow them without causing suspicion. But then it hit me, I remembered watching the lot of you playing Quidditch, the amount of talent you all possess is astounding. A Quidditch team would make for the perfect cover. We would be aloud to travel all over, including other countries. So that’s it, A Quidditch Team.”

“I’m sorry Mad-Eye, but did you say Quidditch,” Harry questioned.

“Can the Ministry really do that,” Percy inquired.

“The Minister only needs to approve it,” smiled Mad-Eye. “We do need to hide the fact that the Ministry is supporting the team, of course,” Mad- Eye produced rolls of parchment that contained details of the newest team to the league.

Mr. Weasley folded his arms across his chest, looking over some of the details. “You know I had planned on surprising the family with the same idea of a Quidditch team, but it seems Mad-Eye has killed two birds with one stone.”

“This is how I figure it,” Mad-Eye opened one parchment in front of him with a chart that included everyone’s name. “Harry, you will obviously be our seeker. Ron,” he pointed. “Keeper; Chasers are, non other than the three most beautiful in the league, Cho, Angelina, and Ginny. And who else for beaters than the bash brothers themselves, Fred and George.” He took a slow breathe trying to read their expressions. “Percy, I’ll need you to help with the managing duties, make games where ever we need them. Charlie and Bill, you two can help with the team security and coach them, it’s your jobs to make sure they look good,” Mad-Eye soon noticed the disappointed in Susan’s eyes, she had shown great skill when put to a team just days ago. “Susan, I need you and Hermione to play our brains. We need the word out ASAP. And of course, you’ll double as a reserve player.”

The room remained silent for about a fraction of a second. “Hell, Bloody Yeah, watch out Oliver,” Ron screamed.

You would have thought the room had been the pitch after their first win. Harry dashed to Ron, jumping at him. Ron caught him in midair and Harry threw both arms into the air. Fred and George went mad, joining Ron and Harry. They all soon had the girls involved; Harry pulled Ginny from her seat. Angelina hadn’t needed much coaxing. She missed playing and had secretly dreamed of playing professionally.

A voice soon echoed across the room. “The Weasley’s and Potter’s come together to form the greatest Quidditch team ever. Long live Gryffindor Pride, long live Quidditch,” Charlie screamed. Cho and Susan shot him looks of pure evil. “Uh, sorry, dear, but I think you’re outnumbered,” He didn’t look at her long enough to see the shock play across her face.

“Wait, hold on,” Ginny yelled, trying to get everyone’s attention. “Harry and I have commitments to Chudley,” Harry had completely forgotten. His enthusiastic celebration came to a sudden halt.

Mad-Eye didn’t seem to falter in his confidence. “That’s quite okay, it’s just a scrimmage. The official season doesn’t begin until next week, you two go on ahead. I’m sure the other teams will find out soon enough,” he said with a bit of a laugh.

“Yeah, Oliver’s going to have a dragon. His precious Chudley Cannons up against the best Quidditch players has ever put out besides himself,” Everyone looked shocked at Ron. He had made a semi-negative comment about Chudley, until now they were the team of all teams.

**********


“Harry, Ginny, for the love of Merlin, you’re late,” Oliver yelled at the fill-ins as they walked to the gate that led to the pitch. The team took their positions waiting to be announced. “So, I guess I’ve lost my reserves.”

“Look’s that way,” Harry chuckled. “Boy, news travels fast.”

“Just remember me should you need another player. I been honored to play with you lot again.”

“Sure thing, Coach,” Harry said as he and the others mounted their brooms as the gate opened.

“Ladies and gentlemen, you’re Chudley Cannons,” they shot out onto the pitch in formation and went into an aerial show. “This year the Cannons are led by Keeper Oliver Wood. This team has had some trouble but we are expecting a great season from them. Two reserve players are filling in tonight, in the seeker and chaser positions, Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley-Potter. This, tonight, will be their first and last appearance as members of the Chudley Cannons,” oh no, thought Harry. Come on, not now, we’re here for Oliver right now. He looked at Ginny who shrugged her shoulders as she went into a dive.

“The two have just yesterday signed contracts with a new team. Details have not yet been released, but rumor about the Ministry is the entire team is made up of Weasley and Potter family members. That should make for a great show,” Harry made his way passed the press box to see none other than Lee Jordan, who else but him to go on about them. He looked directly at him, pulling a finger across his throat to indicate he wanted him to stop. “Hi’ya Harry,” Lee waved. “And now, the other chasers tonight for Chudley are Pearl Sheffield and Helga Harvey. Beaters are Pete Pinner and Bud Bagder. Original members, chaser Simon Taylor and seeker Stan Tice will return in time for the official season starter. Now, out comes the box, it’s opened and away we go.”

Harry felt like he was back at Hogwarts as the crowd screamed his name. The adrenaline rushed through his veins as he made several passes of the field. He refrained from watching Ginny. He had to be professional. They would be playing every week together. He had to stay focused on the task at hand, the snitch. He watched as Oliver demanded the chasers to speed up. Oliver swayed back and forth defending the three hoops behind him. Harry then noticed a bludger headed straight at Ginny. And to his relief, Pinner jumped between it and Ginny, sending it to the other end of the field. ‘Damn’, he thought, ‘He’s good’.

An hour and seventy points later he began digging in, shooting up and down the field trying to spot the snitch. Wisbourne was trailing them by thirty points and Oliver hadn’t planned on letting them through again. Harry glanced at the game as Ginny snatched the quaffle and with great ease put it through Wisbourne’s hoop. The crowd echoed even louder, now chanting ‘Ginny, Ginny, Ginny’. She was awesome. Just as the thought crossed his mind he saw a glimmer coming from the area beside his head. As soon as his glance bolted in that direction the snitch zoomed to the ground. The other seeker was oblivious to the fact that the snitch was right underneath Harry’s nose. He dove with the greatest of ease and picked it right out of the air as though he were picking out a new quill. He never remembered it being that easy. The crowd roared as Harry gracefully landed at the midpoint of the pitch. The rest of the team began landing at his side one by one. He watched as Ginny came down closer but about two meters from a safe landing she tumbled off her broom, eyes shut as she slouched forward.

“Ginny!” Everyone turned to see what Harry was screaming about. Harry rushed to her meeting Mediwizards. They tried to keep him back as they loaded her onto a stretcher.

“Mr. Potter, please, let us get her in, she’s fainted, I believe.” The Mediwizard patted his back.

The Weasley’s had made their way to Harry. He felt as though he might pass out now. He believed that if Ron hadn’t gotten there when he did he would have.

The Weasley’s, Harry, Mad-Eye and the Cannons all sat outside the door, waiting fro what seemed an hour.

Harry slid down the wall, sitting with his elbows propped on his knees and his face in his hands. He raised his head, running his through his hair. “Damn it, what’s taking them so long?”

Hermione sat beside him, holding one arm and patting him gently. “She’s going to be okay Harry,” she whispered. “She just got too excited, that’s all.”

“I sure hope to hell you’re right,” he looked at her and a tear was beginning to form in his glazed over eye.

The door opened and everyone bustled to the door. Harry crawled through legs and jumped up in front of the crowd. “Ah, Mr. Potter, Mrs. Potter is asking for you. She’s still a bit weak. Just give them a moment,” he said to the others as he escorted Harry to where she was lying. “Just behind that screen, sir,” he had motioned to the last bed in the team hospital.

“Thank you,” was all he managed as he rushed to her side. “Ginny!”

As he looked onto the bed covered in stark white sheets, he saw Ginny sitting up holding a wet cloth to her head.

“All right?” he muttered as he sat on the edge of the small, narrow bed, gently.

“I’m fine, Harry. I just got a bit dizzy and passed out,” she smiled, “but, they say I still need to visit St. Mungo’s.”

“What for, if it was nothing,” he said worryingly.

“Well, it seems that you’re going to be a father, Mr. Potter,” she looked deep into his eyes, waiting to see some sort of gleam of joy from them.

“Holy Merlin,” he shouted, causing her to jump a bit and giggle. “Why, did you wait to tell me?”

She laughed under her breath. “Do you honestly think that if I knew I would have risked getting on that broom tonight? Really Harry, I would have told you.”

He now had more than one tear, “I was so worried we wouldn’t be able to have children of our own,” before long the rest of the family was allowed in to see Ginny.

Harry turned to them. “We will be going to St, Mungo’s shortly.”

Mrs. Weasley gasped. “What is wrong?” She leapt forward to her daughter’s side.

“It seems Ginny will be giving you another grandchild.”

“Oh my stars,” Mrs. Weasley cried, but that’s all that could be heard. There never managed to be a quite discussion where this group was concerned. The Mediwizards had finally given up on trying controlling the crowd.




Chapter 7: Introductions Needed
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Chapter 7


Introductions Needed


At the head of a small meager dinner table sat a pudgy man with a face that resembles that of an old boar hog. The eyebrows on the man sat high on his forehead and his eyelids seemed rather small, making him look at though his eyes might pop right from their sockets at any given moment. The portly man’s wide, upturned, flat nose only aided in his piggy-like appearance. As he tore the meat from a turkey leg he tried speaking through his full mouth.

“Have you spoke with her,” he bellowed as bits of turkey meat fell to his large belly along with other crumbs from his meal.

“Yes father,” answered the second man. “And I have taken the Malfoy boy without incident, for insurance,” he peeked across the table wanting nothing more than to take a bit of dinner from the man.

The larger man noticed the snooping of his hungry son. “Oh, for the love of Salazar Slytherin, grow a backbone son, sit, eat a meal, and tell me more. You know, your sister may have left us but she has more guts than you will ever have. She is the one we should worry about and watch.”

Before the son could begin revealing the details of the meeting with his sister a stately woman entered the room, taking her place opposite the portly man. She was a woman of great beauty and poise. She sat just on the edge of her seat with her back quite straight, head held high. As she delicately placed her napkin into her lap she looked up at the younger of the two men. “The Malfoy boy has been taken care of, no need to worry about him.”

**********


Draco slowly opened his eyes to see a ceiling made of old floorboards and dust falling from between the cracks. The smell of decaying fish filled the small room that seemed to be a basement of some sorts. Sitting up slowly, he began to look around, a fishing net filled with dried seaweed hung on one wall beside a string of large corks.

He tried to gain his bearings and squinted to see with what little light was available. Light fought to stream in from around the edges of the ceiling, sending smalls beams of hazy light his way. He ran the tips of his fingers delicately over the walls in order to aid him in his exploration of the room. Remembering what had happened at his place wasn’t the hard part; it was remembering what happened thereafter that was so hard. He knew it had been awhile since his capture as he could feel the grinding of his stomach. He worried desperately about what had happened to Daisy and the children and he hadn’t the foggiest idea who was holding him. He had nothing, what did they want with him.

Draco ran into a chair, stumbling to maintain his balance he slid it to the largest crack he could see in the ceiling corner. On tiptoe, he leaned to see what he might see. He made out what seemed to be a dock and water as far as the eye can see. The smell of salt water and fish was the strongest here. A creaking of the floorboards from overhead followed by a shower of dust startled him and soon thereafter made him reach for his eyes to protect them from the dust storm. Muffled voices came from the same direction of the creaking floor. Quickly he jumped from the chair and moved it to see if he might hear anything from above.

**********


The morning sum shone in brightly across the bed causing Daisy to turn and bury her face in her pillow. She didn’t want to face another day without Draco. Yes, he was a git at times and lost his temper on occasion, but he wasn’t nearly as bad as she had heard. The stories of his school days mad him sound horrible. Then again, he confirmed it himself, he had been that bad.

Every time she looked into the eyes of her children, as they asked for their daddy, she felt her heart sink a little deeper. How would she explain to them that their own mother was responsible for their father’s disappearance? That her family had taken the only other family the children had ever known and she had no idea if he would be returned at all, much less alive.

The Weasley’s had been a great help and made her feel like she was one of them. Harry and Ginny had opened their home to her and her children, but what would she do if Draco never came back. She began to cry and bit into her pillow wanting nothing more than to hurt someone or something. She would like to scream until she used every ounce of energy that remained in her body. And thanks to the sleeping drought that Ginny had purchased for here, she had a bit of energy left.

A knock from the door brought her back to reality and she sat up abruptly. “Yes,” She said loudly.

“Daisy, we have begun breakfast and we will be leaving for the pitch soon thereafter. The children are dressed and ready, so when you are ready we will be off.”

Daisy was greatly appreciative beyond words for Ginny’s help. She had taken to helping her with the children in order for her to get more rest. Ginny said it was only practice for her. She needed all the help she could get to get her ready for a child that contained both Weasley and Potter blood.

“I will be ready before you know it. And I will have just a bit of toast so don’t worry about me,” Daisy shook her head and smiled at the attention that Ginny paid her.

**********


“Hermione, you did owl Neville about today’s game, didn’t you?” Ron yelled from the shower.

“Oh course, you have only reminded me thirty or so times,” Hermione had grown tired of his constant nagging. She thought he sounded much like a child that was about to embark on their first day at Hogwarts. She had been given strict orders to contact all their old friends from Hogwarts to invite them to their first match that would take place this afternoon. Normally, she would not have taken to ‘orders’ very kindly, however she couldn’t help be proud to do so. They were good and she missed watching them play.

Ron walked out from the bathroom drying his hair with one towel while another was rapped around his waist, watering still dripping from him. “Great,” He dropped the towel he had been drying his hair with and took Hermione into his arms, kissing her. “I feel like a kid again, this is going to be fun.”

“Yes dear, although I do not care to take another shower, would you mind drying yourself off completely and getting dressed,” She pushed him away from her with a laugh at the sight of him. His hair fell into his eyes and drops fell one by one onto his nose. He laughed, leaning in closer to her, and shaking his head to throw water in her direction.

“A little water never hurt anyone,” Ron chased her like they were children again.

Hermione reached down to take the towel Ron had used on his hair, taking an end in each hand she began to twist in into a long tight, wet rope. “I am warning you Ron Weasley, if you take one more step I will leave a mark on you that will be the color of that wet mop on your head,” She snapped the towel once as a warning and twisted up again quickly.

“You haven’t the skill to catch the current keeper of the newest Quidditch team in the league,” He cackled at her. “So, be a good little wife and put the towel down.”

“Not a chance, hotshot,” She drew an imaginary line on the floor in front of her. “Come on, Mr. Keeper make my day,” A playful-like evil look fell onto her face. “You should know better than most that I can hold my own.”

Ron moved his mouth, mimicking her words, like a child would another. He hopped from one foot to the other as he did so. “Oh, so think you can take me on, now do you? We’ll come on then,” He stopped bouncing and enunciated the ending of his sentence as he stepped forward across the imaginary line Hermione had drawn with her toe. “Little Girl.”

Without a single word and with all her might Hermione pulled the towel tight and snapped it forward, hitting Ron just on the calf of his right leg. When the towel made contact a loud POP echoed for a moment as she widened her eyes with shock. He jumped back a bit, looking at his leg and then at her. She had done it. He couldn’t believe that she had actually done it. And it hurt at that.

He quickly lunged forward and tried snatching the towel from her but she was ready. Hermione ran around the room but wasn’t’ quite quick enough. Ron leapt forward and picked her up from behind. While she kicked and wiggled he carried her to the bed and threw her to it like a sack of potatoes.

He pinned her to the bed beneath him and grinned. “Well, well, well, look what we have here. A LITTLE GIRL with a big mouth.”

“Ron, you best let me up this instance,” She tried desperately to free her arms that were underneath his knees.

“Now wait a minute, you wanted to play with the big kids. So, you can face the consequences like a big kid,” He let her fight to release herself for a moment. “Now, what to do with you, I could return the favor and give you a nice whelp to match to one you gave me. But then again, I could come up with something better.”

“Ron, come on now, we have things to do. We need to get to your parent’s house so that we can get on to the pitch for the game,” She tried reasoning with him.

He laughed a deep laugh. “They can wait, besides we have plenty of time,” He then bent forward and allowed the water from his forehead to drip to hers. She tried even harder to get up. “Don’t like that now do you,” He looked his leg as it grew redder and redder by the minute.

“Ron that was just a love tap,” She tried convincing him.

“If that was a love tap then I’m Mad-Eye Moody,” He ran his hand over his leg. “Take a look at that. But, okay,” He leaned down again, this time kissing the end of her nose, then her left cheek, right cheek, her chin and so on. “I’ll let you off this time, but remember next time you will be sporting a matching mark and I promise you it will be much larger than the one you gave me.”

Ron rolled over allowing her to get up. Hermione sat up brushing the hair from her face, smiling. “Well, if that doesn’t wake someone up then I don’t know what will,” She leaned closer to him causing him to jump in defense of himself. “Okay, okay I’m done, I just wanted a real love tap,” And she kissed him before jumping from the bed.

Ron just shook his head, saying ‘women’ to himself as she walked out of the room.

**********


Harry sat at the table with the children, trying to ensure more food ended up in their mouth than on the floor or each other when Daisy walked into the room. Ginny had her wand out removing the empty dishes from the table and placing them into the tub of water in the sink to set to washing themselves.

“Good morning, are you two giving Harry and Ginny a hard time this morning,” Daisy asked the children as she picked a slice of toast from the table.

“Uhuh, Mommy,” Granger answered as Winnie shook her head yes.

“They are just being children,” Harry defended.

“Well, it’s good to see they are having a good time. So, how is the day set to go,” Daisy asked, thinking this day would help her to keep her mind occupied.

“We will meet at Mom and Dad’s and then we will all be off to the pitch for the first match, today is history in the making my dear Daisy,” Ginny was happy for her family and although she was ecstatic to be carrying Harry’s baby, she would like to be on the pitch as well.

************


“I have heard on the Wizarding Wireless Network that Harry Potter has gone back to playing Quidditch,” The woman her husband.

When Draco heard that he thought he would never be found. He had always told Daisy that is anything had ever happened to him to go straight to Harry. He didn’t care to hear anymore at the moment and slid down the wall to think about what he should do next. But he couldn’t help but go back to Harry. He just couldn’t believe that Harry would leave the Ministry to play Quidditch. Something had to be up, but what could it be, and then again what if Daisy was never able to get to Harry or anyone else for that matter.

Draco began to think about what he could possibly do to get out of here. He had a strange feeling that if he didn’t do something quick he wouldn’t make it out alive. He had never been so hungry in his life. The creaking of a door quickly followed by a stream of light allowed him to see a woman enter closely followed by a short portly man carrying a wand pointed in his direction. The man was the one to speak as the woman set down a plate of food.

“Mr. Malfoy, I have been waiting a long time to meet you,” He paused looking him over. “I haven’t a clue what my daughter saw in you, but she was always the strange one in our family.”

“Your daughter,” Draco questioned as he stood up quickly from the chair. “What in the hell is going on here?”

The man snickered. “You aren’t in the best position to be making any demands my good sir.”

But Draco hadn’t heard anything else. How could Daisy be this man’s daughter? She was an orphan, or so she says.


Chapter 8: OSC Flames
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Chapter 8


OSC Flames


“Okay team,” Bill began as he looked at the faces of his family. Fred and George were swinging their bats, building up momentum with each swing. Ron had a huge, goofy grin plastered across his face. Angelina and Cho had stopped talking to listen to Bill. Charlie had graciously stepped in to take the place of Ginny. Susan decided she would be best utilized behind the scenes. She had never played Quidditch outside the friendly family games, if that is what you would call them. Harry stood there along with the others flexing his fingers and biting his bottom lip as he bounced from one foot to another.

Bill continued with his little speech. “This room contains probably the best Quidditch players that the Wizarding World has ever seen. Together, you all can bring home the World Cup and it all starts with tonight. I know this project was begun for other reasons but I see no reason why we can’t have a little fun while we are doing that job. Now, the cup has never been won by a first year team, however, other teams were never made up of Weasleys and Potters.”

**********



Mrs. Weasley sat nervously in the Minister’s private box with all her grandchildren. Mr. Weasley and Mad-Eye were making their way across the pitch to join her. Penelope and Fleur were dispersing pumpkin juice and sweets to the children. This was to ensure they were happy when the action began.

Ginny walked with Susan and after snatching herself a pumpkin juice she sat down close to her mom. “I am so excited.”

The box was plastered with red and gold and everyone was dressed in attire of the same colors. Banners were flying and the crowd was a sea of pennants that matched the boxes décor. They chose to pay homage to their old house (by majority) and used the brilliant colors of their dear Gryffindor.

Ginny could only imagine the excitement her family behind that gate was feeling. Although she would love to be down there with them she would rather be up here carrying Harry’s baby. They had hoped for so long, now it was their reality.

“Ladies and Gentlemen,” The familiar voice of Lee Jordan echoed throughout the stands. “You are about to witness history in the making, for the first time in wizards history you will see an entire team make up of one family. Let me be the first to introduce to you the Ottery St. Catchpole Phoenix Flames.”

They all shot from their positions in a streak of red and gold. Lee took a deep breath so he could begin his screaming fit once again. “Keeper- Ron Weasley,” Ron wove in and out of the goal poles before zooming past the stands. “Chaser- Angelina Johnson-Weasley,” Angelina stopped in midair and bowed to the stands as they roared on. “Chaser- Cho Chang- Weasley,” She zoomed straight up and feinted back towards the stands. “And her husband, Chaser- Charlie Weasley,” Charlie raced at top speed to the spectators in the stands before looping and ending mid field. “Now these two are always thought of as one, so let’s introduce them that way, Beaters- the Bash Brothers- Fred and George Weasley- The legends of Hogwarts,” Fred and George had taken their places at either end of the field. And once introduced they began speeding towards each other and at the last minute they veered, exchanging high fives as they passed. “And now Seeker- Harry “always gets the snitch” Potter.” Harry went for his signature move; he dove directly below and just before plummeting into the ground beneath them he pulled from his dive.

“What a show, and they haven’t even begun yet. If you will direct your attention the floor of the pitch Quidditch fans you will see the team’s leaders the Minister himself Arthur Weasley and Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody along with team coach and older brother Bill Weasley. So, Good Luck all and let’s have a great game.”

**********


“Isn’t partial, is he?” Mrs. Weasley asked as she refilled her cup.

He never has been,” laughed Hermione. “You should have heard him at Hogwarts. Prof. McGonagall was on him non-stop.

“Yes, and it didn’t help any, now did it.”

The room turned to find Prof. McGonagall standing in the doorway with Prof. Dumbledore. The Weasley’s rushed to welcome their guests and offered them refreshments.

Professor Dumbledore peered around the room. “Minerva, it looks as though we should start preparing now for a new lot. I don’t believe I have ever seen so many red-heads in one place before, have you?”

“Did you expect anything different,” Professor McGonagall laughed slightly. She counted herself as best she could. “What ten now, I can’t keep up.”

“And two on the way,” Ginny added.

“What, twins,” Professor McGonagall looked at her worriedly.

“Oh no, no, no, Fleur is expecting as well. We will leave Percy to the twin producing,” She snickered at the ironic coincidence that fell upon her brother.

“Oh, save it Ron!” Hermione screamed.

“Yeah Daddy, get it,” Rose said standing along side her mother.

Cash and P.J. were equally excited, joining them in the cheering.

“Charlie has it, he’s almost there, it’s in,” Who needed Lee Jordan, they had their own commentator in Ginny.”

Everyone had moved closer to keep a close eye on the game. Professor McGonagall tried to keep her composure, but the excitement was getting to her. “Get the snitch Harry.”

Shock fell upon the faces of the others, as they had never heard Professor McGonagall lose control before.

“What?” She shrugged. “Those are my boys and girls out there and this isn’t Hogwarts so I don’t have to be impartial.”

“Look!” P.J. yelled. “Uncle Harry’s going for it. He’s in the clouds, where did he go?” Heads turned and twisted trying to improve their views of the skies above.

Harry then zoomed back into sight, the snitch headed towards Ron defending his hoops, “Move!” Harry screamed, Ron shot to the side as Harry lay as close as he could to his broom. Harry flew through the center hoop and followed the gold ball as it spiraled the poles before heading back to the hoops. Upon reaching the goal for the second time he stretched out catching it by one wing.

“Whoooaaaa!” Hermione squealed loudly. “They did it.”

**********



The Village Idiot was a small quite pub on the edge of Ottery St. Catchpole and was now run by one of the newest Wizarding residents. On the outside it looked like your normal everyday place to grab a quick bite or take a load off after a long day at work. But, little did the few muggles left in town know there was a party well underway inside. However, if any of them felt impelled to move a bit closer they might hear the commotion ensued inside.

“Virgil, load us up on the victory meal.” Bill bellowed from one of the many full tables.

Now Virgil is what you might call a colorful character. He doesn’t care much of what people think about his place but you won’t find a more hospitable man. Each of the tables had four different chairs and there wasn’t a table in the place that had all four original legs, and to be honest some looked like they could have been attached to a living thing at one time or another.

A large burly man came out from the behind the counter with a pot loaded to the brim with a steaming stew, followed closely by a short peppy lady with lovely loaves of crusty bread. Butterbeer was being passed along with a Firewhiskey here there. As the food was set onto the table the meal began.

Daisy smiled as she watched the brothers argue over who played the best game and the ladies fussed over the children while gossiping about where they would play next. As she watched her children laughing and enjoying their day her thoughts wondered on as she prayed that Draco was safe. She must have sit there daydreaming for sometime as she noticed the men congregate through a door that led to a back room and the women gathered children for the walk home.

“We will be home shortly, Dear,” Mr. Weasley called above the noise.

Mrs. Weasley merely raised her arm above her head and waved in his direction as she ushered the tired children out of the front door.

**********


An eyeball could be seen pressed close against a hole in the floor board of the kitchen if anyone had noticed as Draco tried desperately to see what these folks had in store for him. They weren’t the brightest of people, which was a good thing for him. Although the basement was proving to be a tight place to hold him, he was able to hear every little thing that they discussed given they remained in the kitchen, and thus far they had spent quite a bit of time there. That man ate more than he had ever seen anyone eat.

“Victor, darling, how long before we leave,” The lady asked the father as they entered his favorite room.

“First thing in the morning,” He snorted as he scavenged through the pantry. “I think that someone may be looking for him. Daisy isn’t staying at thier place, according to Mason, so they may have her hid out.”

Draco moved back from the floorboard and climbed down from his position. She had done like he said. At least she and the children were safe. He thought of the kids and hoped he would be able to see them again soon.

The door flung open and down the stairs came the son that he now assumed to be Mason. He had an authoritarian smirk plastered across his face. “I still can’t see what my sister saw in a scrawny wimp like you.”

Draco drew in a deep breath wanting nothing more than to knock the hot breathed git to the floor.

“And to think she had your scrawny little brats as well, she never was a bright girl.”

“She’s a right smarter than you, you dumb oaf,” Draco snarled.

Before Draco could react he felt the sting of the man’s fist up side his already sore face. “She could have been a part of the most powerful families in the Wizarding world if she had just stuck around.”

“Is that right, you don’t look to powerful to me, hiding out in some fisherman’s shack,” Draco again snarled. He again felt the pain of the man hit him only this time it was from his foot to his rib. Draco thought he really needed to learn to keep his mouth shut. At least until he was able to get out of here.

“The time will come when all wizard-kind will fear us just as they had Voldemort,” Mason scoffed.

“What are you telling him you dumb boy.”

They both turned quickly to see the big man standing there along with his wife.

“Can’t you keep that leak hole of yours shut,” He growled. “Like I said Penny, he is the most stupid son, why did we have to get him. If he cost me my place at the top, I swear I’ll kill’em.”

Mason turned quickly to see Draco with a smirk on his face and turned tail to ascend the stairs.

**********


Ginny sat propped up on her pillow in her four poster bed and thought about how her life had evolved since her first year at Hogwarts. She had been such a starry-eyed little girl. She definitely had grown physically, mentally and emotionally. She laid her hand on her belly and thought about all the times she and Harry had discussed the possibility of them not having children. But that they need not worry about any longer. She now wished her child to be as lucky as she has been. Her family had finally gotten all it deserved.

She smiled as the echo of Harry’s whistling came from the shower. He, above any of them, deserved to be happy. She closed her eyes and a vivid picture emerged, a woman rocking on a porch watching a boat load of children chasing a man and laughing as he played tag and begged for a break. She knew that she was envisioning her future.

“Sleep?” Harry asked as he toweled off his hair, wearing a pair of silk OSC Flames sleep pants. Percy had gone full steam ahead and paid close attention to merchandising. They had run out of merchandise today during the game, but Percy was on it and ordering more stock. They thought the OSC instead of Ottery St. Catchpole was a much catchier name.

“No, just waiting.”

Harry scoot across the bed and gently lay his ear to her belly. He turned, kissing it and whispered, “I love you; can you hear me in there?” He then pretended to be tapping on her belly. He sat up and looked deep into her eyes.

“So, you nervous yet,” He asked.

“No…You?”

“Not yet.”

Ginny thought for a moment then changed the subject. “Where to next, what is going to happen now?”

“We are going to play down in a small fishing village in a southern U.S. state. There are reports from that area.”

“When they said you would be traveling they meant it, didn’t they,” She grinned.

“Yeah, and it will be fun, we just need to keep ourselves focused on the real reason we’re doing this. Daisy isn’t looking good,” Harry said as his spirit went from happy to sad.

“But she has faith in you guys, I only wish I cold be helping,”

“You and Hermione are going to be doing plenty along with everyone else. We all have our jobs and if just one of us goofs-up then it all falls apart.”




Chapter 9: Warnings and Threatening Demands
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Chapter 9


Warnings and Threatening Demands


Draco continued to pull with every last ounce of strength he could muster at the poorly attached vent. He considered himself lucky to have found the vent; it looked to be the last hope he had of regaining his freedom. A large box set on top on an old muggle refrigerator had been hiding his gate to the outside world.

His fingers were wedged tightly between the grates causing them to cut deep into his knuckles. Blood soon trickled down his arm only to drip from his elbow. He was so close and he refused to give up. He was convinced that a finger could fall off and he still would not give up.

He stopped periodically to listen for talking or the unlocking of the door. He tugged as he visualized Winnie’s and Granger’s small faces just on the other side of the grate and he began to shake. He was seeing terror in their faces and tears falling from their eyes. The more time that passed the more real the image became. Finally, with a large heave, the grate gave nearly causing him to tumble to the floor below.

The room around him began to blur as he looked at the grate dangling from his blood soaked hand. The tears welled up as he took a quick moment to listen at the voices overhead.

“Everything must be ready to go tonight. They’re on to us, I just know it,” belted the voice of Daisy’s father.

Draco didn’t take the time to listen to the rest of what they were saying; he jumped to the opening, climbing in. He was home free. Once he was out of here, he thought, it wouldn’t be hard to spot another wizard. He crawled as quickly as possible without reservation and no sooner than he quickened his pace he hit head on with a wall, or was it. He held up his bloody fist and punched. That was no wall, or at least it wasn’t a wall of a physical nature. They had actually been clever enough to place a magical binding on the room.

Draco didn’t take the time to curse his luck. He needed to get back before they noticed him gone.

**********


Hermione sat at her desk in her office trying desperately to make a list of do’s and don’ts for the other employees in preparation of their trip. A very small but otherwise sprite witch burst through the door of her office followed closely by Dobby.

“I’m begging your pardon Ma’am but you must not disturb Mrs. Hermione Weasley. You must be announced,” Dobby shook his head violently as he waved a finger at her.
Hermione looked up from her work to see the witch, who wasn’t much taller than Dobby, hop on ignoring every warning the house-elf spat at her.

“Hermione Weasley, I take it.” The witch stuck her hand out offering it to Hermione. “I am Bryn Cornwell; I work for the Daily Prophet and I…”

“Wait a minute,” Hermione interrupted. “I am sorry, it’s Bryn, is it,” She asked with a caustic tone in her voice. “It is not customary for a professional lady, such as yourself to barge into another’s office unannounced.”

Once the boisterous young lady heard the tone of Hermione’s voice the straightness of her back fell causing her to look as though she may cower back out of the room. However, she only stopped and lowered her voice to address Hermione once again.

“I’m sorry Mrs. Weasley, but this is important and your house-elf wouldn’t listen to reason.”

Hermione raised her eyebrows at her before speaking once again. “First of all Bryn, Dobby is merely trying to do his job that he was hired to do and secondly Dobby does not belong to me or anyone else for that matter, he is a paid employee of the Ministry.”

Dobby tried standing a bit taller as he made it to the woman’s side, grabbing her arm.

“Please, Mrs. Weasley, I’m sorry but I’m only trying to help. Here, you are my last resort.” She thrust a piece of parchment at her as she leaned in digging her heels, trying to prevent Dobby from dragging her from the office.

“Just a moment Dobby, let me see what she has for me,” Hermione requested as she unrolled the parchment.


Dear Daily Prophet Staff,

I, as an honest member of the Wizarding Community,

thought it necessary to bring to your attention and the

attention of others like myself, that the Ministry is being

used for personal gain by its employees. These

employees must be under the impression that

because said employees had a hand in the demise of

He-who-must-not-be-named that they are entitled to

certain privileges. “The Chosen One”, “The Boy Who

Lived”, “Ministry Auror”, Mr. Harry Potter, whatever you

chose to call him, it doesn’t matter, by whatever you

chose he is still using the Ministry for his own

personal gain along with the Minister himself, Arthur

Weasley, and the entire Weasley family. I should say

the Ministry has done quite enough in employing

nearly all the Weasley family, including their spouses,

that there is absolutely no reason in employing those

stated above in a second Ministry job as a Quidditch

team member. There are more than enough talented

witches and wizards to share these jobs with if only

given the chance.

Sincerely,

A concerned and most talented citizen



Hermione looked up from the note, the blood clearly rushing to her face as her temper flared. “Where did you get this?”

“It is my job to open general mail, you know, suggestions, comments, things of that nature. I tried going to the Minister himself but they wouldn’t listen, and Auror Weasley and Auror Potter were out of the office so I thought you would be the next logical person to show it to.”

“Has anyone else seen this?” Hermione asked as she jumped from her seat, causing the small woman to jump back a bit.

“No ma’am, I thought…” but she had been unable to finish as Hermione had taken her by the arm, yanking her from the room as she yelled back to Dobby.

“Dobby, take my calls, I’ll be back.”

**********


Ginny sat at her parchment covered desk in the Magical games office trying to focus on the task at hand. She was reading over complaints submitted by officials of regulation violations. It was her job to determine if the violations were severe enough to go before the Gaming Committee. If not she would merely issue a statement of warning or fines.

She found her thoughts wondering from time to time. In a short amount of time she would be traveling with the rest of her family to watch the OCS flames play where ever the Ministry saw fit.

A sudden burst of a burly man with a crooked nose and furrowed brow through her door brought Ginny back to the reality which was her work.

“Hey, Potter, you got my complaints yet?’

“I beg your pardon,” She crossed her arms as she shot a look of disapproval to the man.

This man was Cameron Cullen. The entire staff of the Gaming Dept. had grown quite accustomed to his obnoxious presence. He currently held the record for being the most traded player in Quidditch history. He was a fair player however his attitude and temper was the cause of his frequent uniform trades.

“You heard me; I sent them in days ago.”

Ginny rose from her desk, placed the palms of her hands flat on her desk and leaned in closer to her loud, demanding visitor. “Cameron, when you enter my office you will speak to me with respect and should you choose not to I am afraid that I will be forced to convince you in a more influential manner.

He released a deep laugh before spitting back his retort. “It is your job to handle my complaints promptly; besides what are you going to do, set your big bad husband on me?”

Ginny was just about to turn into her mother when a voice from behind Cameron stopped her and made him spin on his hell to face the entrance. There, standing in the door, was Harry accompanied by Ron. “You must be new,” Harry chuckled. “Ginny doesn’t need me to take up for her.”

“I can vouch for that,” Ron added. “I have been on the receiving end of a many of her curses, but now that we’ve cleared that up, you shouldn’t worry about her husband, she has six brothers to worry about and I’m the youngest.” He stepped past Harry, straightening his frame as he came eye to eye with Cameron Cullen. “I would suggest you keep a civil tongue in your mouth when you addressing Mrs. Potter in the future.” He was sure to stress the Mrs.

“Well, if Mrs. Potter were doing her job I wouldn’t be here, now would I?”

Ron began pushing the sleeves of his robes up his arms as he pushed himself even closer, now chest to chest. “If you learned a few manners you wouldn’t be here at all, you filthy blast-ended skrewt.”

Harry quickly stepped in, not wanting to allow this to get to far out of hand. “Okay, Okay, Cameron, I think you should be going now.”

Cameron turned his glance on Harry. “Oh, you do, do you? Well who died and made you Minister?”

“No one, but I’ve a badge here saying I can have you thrown in Azkaban while we sort it all out.”

That was all it had taken, for Cameron turned reluctantly and walked out the door mumbling something about useless and power hungry.

“And you have a wonderful day,” Ron added sarcastically.

As soon as Harry turned back to Ginny he knew he had done something wrong, only he didn’t know what.

“Harry James Potter, I do not appreciate you tramping into my office and taking over, I could have handled him just fine.” Ginny now glared at her brother, arms still folded. “And you, throwing your size around, I should hex you right here.”

“What?” Ron squealed “We were just letting him know you were quite capable when he unleashed his sharp tongue on us. You know as well as I do that if he had spoken to any other Auror like that they would have had him detained in no time; I think he got off lucky.”

Ginny thought for a moment then set back into her seat. “Why are you two here now any how? It’s after lunch.”

“Oh,” Harry quickly remembered. : Mad-Eye in sending us out tonight to the next location.”

“What for,” Ginny asked quickly. “The game isn’t for two days.”

“He wants us to have a look around first. He’s thinking they may have moved on but we might be able to find some clues as to their next destination.”


"I can be home shortly to help you get things together. Just let me get a few more things done here, however Cameron can wait."

Thay all laughed at bit.

**********


Hermione threw open the door leading into the Auror Dept. of the Ministry, bypassing every desk, with her eyes focused on her destination, the door in the back marked, Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody: Head Auror

A young Auror in training jumped from his desk beside the door. “I’m sorry Mrs. Weasley, Ron and Harry are out of the office and Mr. Moody doesn’t wish to be disturbed.

Hermione shoved the small framed recruit aside, still tugging on Bryn Cornwell. “The hell he doesn’t; He’ll see me.”

She drew her wand, blasting the door open to see Mad-Eye scrambling to his feet and reaching for his wand that was somewhere beneath the piles of files he was going over.

“Hermione,” he bellowed. “Don’t you know better than to bust into an Aurors office like that, especially mine.”

“I’m sorry Mad-Eye, but that fellow outside wasn’t going to let me in and I thought you really needed to see this.” She thrust the crumpled parchment at him.

He began to read and the further he got down the page the higher his eyebrows rose. “Who in their right mind would write rubbish like this?” he asked, looking up at the two ladies standing before him.

Hermione explained who Bryn was and how she came across the letter. “And Mad-Eye, I’m not trying to tell you how to run your office but I really think you and Arthur should arrange a press release to prevent something like that making the paper.”

“I’m afraid you are right Hermione. Would you write me something up while I speak with Arthur about it, oh, and Bryn could you make the arrangements with the Prophet.”

“Sir, I don’t think they will listen to me,” Bryn managed to say as she stared at the roving eye atop his head.

“You tell them that if they want the story and the interview then they will get it through you and only you, by the way, thanks for the heads up. And Hermione, the Wizarding Wireless might like a copy for their evening newscast.”

“Right,” she said as she settled herself at Mad-Eye’s desk grabbing a clean roll of parchment and quill, dipping it into the ink well.

Before he stuck his head into the fire to talk to Arthur Weasley he looked at Hermione. “Are you sure you aren’t interested in the Aurorship?”

“Quite sure sir, besides, you think you have trouble with Ron and Harry, just think of the trouble the three of us would get into,” she smiled as he knew full well the things the three of them were capable of when given the chance.




Chapter 10: Laveau Lane
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Chapter 10

Laveau Lane

Hermione sat on her sofa along with Ginny and Rose, reading through some last minute cases while listening to the Wizarding Wireless. Ron and Harry had already left and would be joined tomorrow evening by the rest of them for the game the following day. Daisy and the children went back to their apartment above the bookshop in hopes of receiving some sort of clues to her parent’s whereabouts. The Ministry was now watching her around the clock and hoped to see some signs of her brother.

Ginny say up a bit straighter as she spoke. “The announcement you wrote for Mad-Eye is here, listen,”

Potter and Weasley released from Ministry’s Auror Department

The Ministry of Magic, Arthur Weasley and Chief Auror Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody announced today that Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley were released today from their duties while they travel to play with the new Quidditch team, The OSC Flames.
Potter and Weasley Have worked closely with Moody while at the Aurors office and these two are responsible for the capture of many of the dark wizards known as Death Eaters who were followers of you-know-who.
When asked if he approved, Minister Weasley stated that they both had performed a great service to all Wizarding kind and they deserved the right to a little fun and relaxation. Moody quickly added that should they want it, their jobs would be waiting when they decided to return.
The Minister also added, “That although they are my son and son-in-law the two of them have never received any special treatment. They both completed the required vigorous training for the Aurors position and as for their Quidditch abilities, all I can say is come watch them play and judge for yourself.”

Article submitted by Press Release to Bryn Cornwell from the Ministry
Written by Ministry Employee Hermione Weasley
“Let’s see what kind of letters that article generates,” Hermione said smugly. “Bryn has agreed to keep a close eye on incoming mail at the Prophet.”

“The Aurors have too much to worry about without some jealous bloke stirring up trouble,” Ginny added.

Rose continued to flip through her copy of Moonbeams, a magazine for young witches and wizards. She listened to her mum and aunt, soaking up every ounce of information. They treated her like a child, but she understood more than they thought. She knew how much danger her family had faced and it worried her that it would happen again. ‘Moonbeams’, she scoffed to herself. She wanted something with more intrigue, more information. She was growing up after all. Her parents weren’t much older than herself when they faced a three headed dog with her Uncle Harry. Her parents didn’t know she knew about these adventures, but Uncle Fred and Uncle George had told her not only about that but several more. Rose jumped from her semi-catatonic state when she was being addressed quite loudly.

“Rose, Rose darling,” Hermione now yelled.

Rose looked up. “Yes Mum.”

“I said, it’s time that you head on up to bed,” Hermione said with her eyebrows stretched and forehead wrinkled.

Rose knew there was no use in arguing. Her dad was gone and he was the only chance she ever had of staying up late. She removed the afghan throw from her lap, unfolded her legs, and walked to her mother. The scuffling sound of her heavy feet caused an irritated look to fall upon Hermione’s face. She kissed both Hermione and Ginny good night and headed up the stairs, sounding like a heard of hippogriffs with each step.

Ginny laughed once she was out of earshot. “She may have your brain Hermione but she definitely acts like Ron did growing up.”

Hermione threw her head back onto the chair as she looked to the ceiling as though the answer to all her problems might fall from it. “Heaven help me, the fights with Ron growing up were bad enough, just imagine how they’ll be with my own daughter.”

**********


The crisp smell of the salt water drifted gently along the breeze as the waves splashed softly into the dock. The mist from the waves made its way to Harry and Ron causing their hair to look even more uncontrollable than normal. The cool breeze was a welcomed one as the hot sun beat down from directly overhead.

Ron wiped his forehead with the back of his hand as he stopped to read the menu of a restaurant at the end of the dock. “How can anyone live in this heat,” he asked Harry.

“I guess if you live here long enough you grow accustomed to it.”

“How about lunch,” Ron asked as a grumble came from the direction of his stomach.

Harry nodded in agreement and followed Ron through the old wooden door of the bait house turn rustic restaurant and tourist attraction. The place was empty with the exception of a short portly man that stood in the door that obviously led to the kitchen. He had on a white apron that tied around his neck and came within a few inches of the floor. A dishtowel that had quite possibly been white itself at one time hung from the string that was wrapped back around his waist holding the apron shut.

“Hello sir,” Harry said.

The man looked the two of them up and down never moving with the exception of the toothpick he twirled between his teeth. After a couple of glances he assumed they might like to be invited to sit.

“Sit where ever, I’ll be back,” and he turned, not getting in any hurry as he did so.

All the tables looked the same, old wooden picnic tables with long benches that ran the length of them. On each, there sat a large dented gray pail along with paper towels and bottles of different colored liquid. They examined each table trying to choose the one with the least amount of shell remnants on it.

Ron sat stretching his neck to look for a more detailed menu than the one that hung on the outside of the building.

The man soon returned with two massive glasses that could have very well belonged to Hagrid.

“What’s this,” Harry asked as he watched the ice bobbing in the glass.

“That would be tea and by the look of the beaded sweat you could have used it sooner.”

Harry didn’t dare question the man’s technique of serving tea, he was hot and the ice looked extremely refreshing.

The man began to turn to head back in the direction in which he came when Ron spoke.

“Excuse me, but we haven’t a menu to look at.”

The man glared at Ron as though he didn’t have the least bit of sense. “You saw the sign outside, didn’t ya?”

“Well yeah, but…”
“But nothing,” the man interrupted. “That’s it, all’s we serve here is what’s written out there.” And he didn’t wait for a comment or reply but just headed on to do his job.

Ron shot Harry a confused look as he shrugged his shoulders.

Harry and Ron sat there for some time before the man emerged from the kitchen carrying two very large round trays and he dropped them down, one in front of each of them.

“If you need more, just yell,” and the man vanished again.

The two of them looked at the trays that lay before them. They were filled with mounds of steaming crawfish. And lying amongst the red crawlers was boiled potatoes and corn on the cob. Ron picked one up and tried tearing it apart. He squeezed, cracked and ripped at the crustacean. Harry laughed, debating how he should attempt to eat.

The front door swung open forcefully causing the two of them to jump a bit. A large bucket dropped to the floor and the fisherman reached up to remove the big yellow hat that matched an over sized slicker. As the hat was removed a long main of chestnut brown hair fell down over the bright yellow coat. With a great smile the bayou beauty removed the coat and hung it on a hook by the door.

“Hi’ya fellas,” she said as she picked up the bucket and walked to the counter, setting it down. “How are you doin’?”

“Fine, how about yourself,” Harry asked politely as Ron went back to the task at hand, those blasted crawfish.

She snickered at Ron as she introduced herself to Harry. “I’m Cassie, my dad owns the place, but don’t hold that against me.”

Harry laughed a bit.

“Here,” she said to Ron as she picked up a crawfish and demonstrated the technique of eating them. She pulled the head from the tail and sucked on the head. “And you want to pinch it right here.” She showed him the exact location. “And simply bite here with your front teeth and pull.” And as quick as she did she tossed the shell into the bucket and smiled. “Go ahead, try it.”

It didn’t take long for Ron to pick it up and he was sucking them down as quickly as his tray could be refilled.

She then turned her attention back to Harry as he tried the same but without as much luck as Ron on the first try. “So, here on vacation?”

“You could say that,” Harry answered, not knowing what else to tell her. “Our families will be here later this evening. We were just taking in the sights.”

“Well, hope you enjoy your time here and you should bring’em around later.” And without another word she headed to the kitchen, picking up the bucket as she passed the counter.

**********


The small inn was packed to its rooftop with more people than it had probably seen in the last ten years. The Weasley children ran from room to room, playing chase to alleviate the boredom. The inn was smack dab in the middle of Laveau Lane and it was surrounded by several shops but this Wizarding community was not near the size of Diagon Alley. The children begged to visit the shops and the adults were beginning to wear down and thought they might as well give in to them.

As they made their way into the street they attracted more attention than they had hoped. Fingers pointed into their direction and many played close attention to the scar on Harry’s forehead. He had forgotten what it felt like to have everyone notice it for the first time. And soon children lined up, with rolls of parchment and quills wanting autographs of the players of OSC Flames.

Rose rolled her eyes, wanting to get on with it and make her way to the sweet shop she had spotted. “Mum, come on, let’s leave them.”

Hermione noticed Ron shrug and shake his head to urge her on. “We’ll catch up.”

Quickly she and the others that weren’t the Quidditch stars continued to heard the children on to the shop they desired. The shop was soon a few shelves short of full stock and the family made its way out to meet up with “the team”.

Molly Weasley soon reminded them all that children couldn’t live on sweets alone and began to herd them into the direction of a restaurant. The streets were letting off steam caused by the heat and Ginny was sure to voice her opinion in finding a cool place to sit and quick.

Once they were seated Harry and Ron filled in the others on what they had done earlier in the day. “We didn’t find much of anything around the docks,” Harry said, “We did find a great place to eat.”

Ron scoffed, “yeah, if you like bad service and if it hadn’t been for that girl I would have never gotten into those things.”

Harry tried to hide his laugh as he recalled the sight of Ron fighting the crawfish. “I’m sure the man was sorry you learned how to eat those things.”

Ginny interrupted the conversation, “Charlie, have you heard anything about the team that you will be playing tomorrow?”

“We know that they play dirty,” Bill answered. “But it can’t be any worse than playing against the Slytherin team back at Hogwarts, and we have all done that so we should be ready.”

“It should be fun then,” Fred added.

They all soon agreed that it would be best to go back to the inn and get to sleep. They had a busy day tomorrow and they hadn’t a clue how long this game would last.



Author's Note: I am sorry for the long delay in updates and hope you enjoy this as I work on more. Between school starting, work and the recent hurricanes I have had very little time to work on updates. And believe it or not I had started this chapter before the hurricanes so I will simply say this is for all of you that have enjoyed the food and culture of Louisiana, crawfish is at the top of my list of favorites. And yes, I have visied a place much like the one described here and although the man had the personality of a mop it was still great. Thanks again for your support.

Chapter 11: Goalpost and Trees
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Chapter 11


Goalpost and Trees



For a fraction of a second Harry had forgotten about everything that had taken place in his life within the last few months. Although it was nearing October the mercury was still nearing the 100 degree F mark. He didn’t think he could ever manage to grow accustomed to this southern American weather.

He was gliding through the air at top speed but the wind brought little comfort. He stopped, hovering high above the pitch, to wipe the sweat from his forehead that made his scar glisten in the mid afternoon sun. The other players below him zoomed from end to end, each trying to out fly and out score the other. One of the Swamprats beaters sent a bludger in Angelina’s direction only to have Fred intercept it. Harry heard him yell at the beater.

“Take a bite out of that.”

The other team’s beater laughed at Fred as he sped off to chase down the bludger.

“Come on Harry, get your head out of the clouds, find that snitch,” Charlie bellowed, “It’s hot.”

They most definitely had them at a disadvantage. Harry veered to the left of the pitch, passing his opponents fans. As he slid past he quickly turned to take a second look. The woman he had just flown by had a head full of familiar chestnut brown hair that he remembered from the dock restaurant.

She waved even as she cheered on her hometown team. That girl was a witch. How could he have not seen it?

**********


Rose, P.J. and Cash ran around the outside of the pitch boundary lines straining their necks to see what was going on above them.

“Look at ‘em.” They heard a hard faced little girl say to her friends.

“Bunch of orphans if you ask me,” Said the other who was a sight better looking than the first.

Rose turned quick on her heel and placed her hands on her hips. “I don’t recall anyone asking you, princess.”

“At least she knows royalty when she sees it, Dottie,” sneered the second of the girls.

“Look here Cash, we’ve got the Swamp Queen here, warts and all,” Rose shot back at her.

The little girl puffed up like a miniature toad frog ready to let out a grand croak. But the little girl she called Dottie jumped in.

“You haven’t a clue who you are speaking to, do you?” She questioned. And before they could comment any further Dottie continued. “This is Victoria LaVeau, great- great- great granddaughter of THE Marie LaVeau. And her father owns that box up there.” And she pointed to the highest, largest box above the pitch.

Cash rolled his eyes at the girls. “That may sound impressive to most but do you have a clue who she is, Dottie?” He asked sarcastically. “Her father and mother are Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger-Weasley, and I’m sure you’ve heard of them, even down here.”

“And Harry Potter is our uncle,” P.J. added.

Rose scowled at the two of them and pointed to another box. “That box is where our family is at, namely our Grandpa, Minister of Magic, Arthur Weasley.”

The two girls tried to not look so impressed but they were both busting to know more about the ones who were responsible for the downfall and death of Lord Voldemort. They had heard the stories, but before anything else could be said, Rose turned and headed back to their box. “Come on, if we get caught out of the box they’ll skin us alive.”

Ron grabbed the quaffle just as it was about to go through the far left hoop and passed it off to Charlie as he circled around the hoops. He sped towards the other end when he was sandwiched by two of the opposing team’s players. They were rather large for chasers and made their presence known. The two chasers backed off a bit but went after Charlie again. Charlie lay flat on his broom as he noticed them coming back for an instant replay and dropped just below them.

Harry tried to remain focused on his search for the snitch but the sight of the Swamprats chasers fighting to stay on their brooms after colliding was priceless.

“Hey, tweedle dum, play with this awhile,” George screamed to one of them as he smashed the bludger.

Bill could be heard above all the jeers and cheers as he urged the official to pay closer attention.

Cho flew by flanking Charlie. She swooped as the largest of the opposing teams beaters smashed a bludger her way. Charlie passed her the quaffle and she slipped it in right under the keeper’s nose.

Charlie gave her a wink as Angelina flew pass her giving her a high five.

Harry spotted the other seeker fast at work zooming in and out of the clouds and decided he needed to get to work.

As Cho placed the quaffle through the hoop, making her third goal of the day, Harry spotted the snitch mid-pitch. And by the look of it, the other seeker did too. The snitch changed direction, heading straight for the Swamprats seeker. Harry cursed under his breath as he hit high speed. Just as the seeker put out his hand to grab the snitch it changed direction, heading straight into the sun. He turned to follow, not able to see anything, slamming directly into the middle goal right under Ron. Ron flinched at the sound of skull meeting steel.

“That had to hurt,” Ron declared with a slight grin.

Harry didn’t take time to notice but continued after the humming ball. In just a matter of seconds Harry folded his fingers over the ball and released the breath he had been holding.

**********


The OSC Flames were in their dressing room changing and showering as the rest of the family rolled in one by one. Laughter echoed from the showers as Harry and Ron relived the moment the Swamprats seeker kissed the goal post.

“Ron!!”

Ron’s face fell as he grabbed the nearest towel and threw it around his waist, running into the locker room. As she rounded the corner his eyes fell upon Hermione, her face pale and tear streaked.

He ran to her, Harry at his heels. “What’s the matter?”

Hermione took a deep breath and tried to swallow the lump in her throat. “Rose,” was all she was able to mutter.

The blood suddenly drained from Ron’s face as well. “What about Rose,” he asked as he grabbed her by both shoulders.

Hermione looked at him, her lip quivering, “She’s…she’s gone.”

Ron looked up at the door as Molly Weasley rushed in carrying a child with two a her skirt tail.

“Mum,” was all he managed to say.

Mrs. Weasley shook her head, “Mad-Eye has security looking for her. He says they are going to need more help.”

Harry had already thrown on jeans and a t-shirt, dashing out of the door without shoes.

Bill and Charlie, who were already dressed, took off after Harry.

Ron felt his knees weaken, but he stood taller and took Hermione into his arms. “We’ll find her.”

Angelina stepped forward to take Hermione into her arms letting Ron dress to help the others. Fleur entered the room and began to tell them the story that cash and P.J. had told others.

After the altercation with the local kids they headed back to their box. Rose said she laid down her banner and was going to rush back for it. They waited and after awhile they went looking for her but she wasn’t there. On the ground, where they had been standing, was Rose’s banner.

**********


Rose lay in the boot of the muggle car scared and mad. She screamed as loud as she could, but it wasn’t doing the least bit of good. Boy, she only wished she could apparate. As she beat her fist into the top of the boot she made mental note to speak with Gramps about this being 17 to apparate business.

The car soon stopped and she tried desperately to hear what was going on. She noticed a small beam of light fighting its way in near her feet. She turned on her side and maneuvered herself around in the tight space to reach the light.

The smallest hole, the size of a pencil top, was looking back at her. She placed the pointed end of the tire iron to it, aiming at her mark.

**********


The dressing room of the OSC Flames had soon become headquarters for the search party. Ginny tried desperately to help but her entire family backed up Harry when he said she should stay put with Mrs. Weasley. Fred entered the room, escorting Hermione.

“Ron says she needs rest,” he told Mrs. Weasley.

Mrs. Weasley agreed and urged the shaking Hermione to sit. “Come along dear, they’ll find her.”

Fleur was trying her best to entertain the children. As they sat in a circle she told them stories that her mother had told her as a child. Everyone’s attention was averted to the entrance as two very familiar looking people entered.

The woman carried a large tray filled with sandwiches and tea bags. “We thought you might need these.” The lady sat them on a bench.

The man looked at Mrs. Weasley and Hermione. “Who should I talk to about helping?”

“Aren’t you the Swamprats seeker,” Fred asked him, not even thinking to crack a joke.

“Yes,” he thrust his hand forward. “I’m Danny and this is my wife, Jolie,” he said, pointing towards the lady.

“We could use all the help we can get to find my niece,” Fred said sincerely. “Follow me,” And Fred led him back out the door he had just entered.

Jolie conjured cups for each of the children and put tea in each for them all. She was a simple but beautiful lady. Her hair was neatly braided and fell down the length of her back.

The room remained quite with the exception of the occasional spat among the children. The younger girls had fallen asleep and were lying on a mattress Ginny had conjured on the floor. They had discussed taking the children back to the inn but no one was willing to be the one to take them. So they had turned the locker room into a makeshift home as well as headquarters.

**********


Ron and Harry walked down one of the streets that exited the grounds. The sun had now set and the stars shown bright in the sky. They had questioned every person who attended the match with the help of the entire Weasley family and others who had volunteered. Most of the others had taken to the air as they searched by foot.

“How could there not be one person in that entire place not see a bright ginger haired girl running around here,” Ron questioned Harry.

Harry didn’t know what to say, he knew it didn’t matter what he did say it wouldn’t make Ron feel any better at the moment.

Ron stopped, staring at the ground; the only sound was that of the crickets and frogs in the nearby bayou. Harry stopped as well and began focusing on the spot that Ron was looking at, he couldn’t see anything of any significance; just the white gravel rock that lay on any other rural parish maintained road. He pushed his fists deep into his pockets and waited on Ron to say something, move, bark, anything.

Ron broke the silence. In the softest voice Harry had ever heard from Ron, he said, “What if we never find her?” Ron could feel his heart beating in his throat. It was becoming harder to breath.

Harry took one step forward placing a hand on Ron’s shoulder. He could see the tears welling in his eyes, glimmering in the starlight. “You can’t think like that mate.”

“I’m an Auror, I’m her father.” He took in a long deep breath of the warm night air and releasing it with great force he screamed, “I’m suppose to protect her!”

Harry jumped a bit, not expecting such an outburst.

Ron spun on one heel and plowed his fist into a tree standing at the edge of the road. He pulled his arm back and swung with even greater force and hit it a second time. “I was in the bloody air playing a blasted kids game while my daughter is carried out, right from under my nose.”

Harry fought with himself to find the right words but he couldn’t find them. He watched as Ron went at the tree again, only this time Harry grabbed his arm, preventing him from plunging his already blood soaked knuckles into the tree.

Ron turned to look at him, now the tears were quite visible. He coughed as low moans escaped his throat. He bent low at the waist, bracing himself with both hands on his knees.

“Ron, I’m not going to tell you I know how you feel, because I don’t, but I’m your best friend and I know that you have got to pull yourself together. You can’t find Rose if you breakdown and… and think of Hermione, if she thinks you have given us hope she will fall apart.”

Ron craned his neck to look up at Harry, breathing hard and deep. “I know; I’m trying.” And he lowered his head again.

Harry didn’t say another word. He just stood there with his hand on his friends back, giving him the time he needed to pull it back together.




Chapter 12: Ucky's Fresh Bait
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Chapter 12


Ucky’s Fresh Bait


Draco sat leaned against the wall of the basement wondering just how long he had been there. He hadn’t eaten in what could have been days. He stared at the jug of water that say nearby and was uncertain about just how long it would last him. He tried drinking only when absolutely necessary, not knowing how long they intended on leaving him there. He had over heard them discussing the need to leave however they never came for him. He took in a deep breath; the heat was really taking a toll on his malnourished body. His lungs were beginning to feel constricted; his heartbeat was slowing and felt as though it might pound right out of his chest. His muscles were beginning to shake uncontrollably and he could feel himself slipping in and out of consciousness. He thought that it could be a blessing in disguise. It might prevent him from knowing when the time was to come for him to die.

He set his eyes on the door just waiting for the slightest movement. He was tired and eventually gave in to the exhaustion that was overcoming his body. He lay over and drifted off into a deep slumber.

The flying sensation startled Draco and he opened his eyes to see a fresh green field of wildflowers covered in the soft dew of the morning. Through the haze of the fog he could see a beautiful woman laid back onto a quilt amongst the wild grass. He felt himself try to veer in her direction when he noticed he wasn’t on a broom at all but floating along, unaided. That couldn’t be possible but laughter soon caught his attention and he turned to see two children playing. One, a boy, carried a frog, as he chased the girl.

“Come on Sis, he doesn’t bite,” the boy teased.

“I don’t care, I don’t like them,” the young girl squealed

“Children,” the lady said from the quilt, “Please stop teasing one another.”

He felt a great deal of familiarity fall over him. He felt a deep feeling of need, wanting to join them. As he hovered, he heard a voice that sounded like someone he knew.


**********


The moon shone bright overhead and Harry thought that Ron really needed to be with Hermione at this point. He was a mess and he wasn’t doing himself, Hermione or Rose for that matter any good by being out here. He was afraid that if they should find her, well, not alive, he didn’t want Ron to be the one to find her. He believed Ron would loose the last bit of sanity he had left.

“Hey mate, let’s head on back, she may well be back there by now.” Harry was trying to sound as positive as possible.

“Don’t patronize me, Harry, I know as well as you do that they would have sent out the Patronus to us.” He walked on, not missing a beat. “I’m an Auror, too, remember, I know the odds of us finding her alive. The longer it takes the less likely we’ll find her, alive that is.”

“Ron, then you should know as well as anyone that you need some rest. You are losing your edge and only rest can help you clear your head for the next step. Besides, Hermione needs you.” Harry was hoping that he was convincing enough.

Without another word Ron turned into the opposite direction and began jogging back towards the pitch. Harry wondered how after the hours of walking and searching that he could run. He picked up speed with each stride, pumping his arms harder to gain momentum.

Harry was fighting the urge to stop; he had to at least try to keep up. “Ron,” he gasped, “I, uh, could you hold up a bit?”

Ron ran only faster and Harry only breathed harder. He was thankful when he finally spotted the entrance to the pitch and then the locker room. When Harry fell into the door of the locker room Ron was sitting beside Hermione who was lying on a camp bed, asleep. Harry’s face soaked up the refreshing coolness of the concrete floor where he laid after falling in the door.

“Harry,” Ginny called as she rushed to his side, “What happened?”

“Just,” he gasped, “trying to keep up with your brother.”

Ron brushed the hair from Hermione’s face and looked at his mother. “How has she been?”

“Distraught,” Mrs. Weasley said through sad eyes, “we’ve given her a sleeping draught to help her get some rest.” She then turned to Harry. “Have you found any clues,” she asked in somewhat of a whisper.

“Not that we could see.” Harry replied as he sat up. “But we were only two of many looking for her.”

Bill and Charlie entered the room with the same looks of despair plastered across their faces. Ron rushed to meet them. “And,” he questioned them.

Charlie shook his head as he placed his hands onto his hips. “But Mad-Eye has just sent out a fresh squad of Aurors.”

Ron nodded as he looked back as Hermione. “We have got to find her soon, before Hermione wakes.”

**********


The neon lights of the all night station caught the eyes of Fred and George and they zoomed in for a closer look. They landed behind the billboard just beside a line of trees that ran along the property line of the station. They dropped their brooms and strolled out to the parking lot. The sign above the awning of the front door had a “L” missing causing it to read “ucky’s” and in smaller letters underneath it read “Last Chance for Fresh Bait”.

“Who would by fresh bait at “ucky’s,” Fred laughed.

“Got me,” George then noticed a familiar face coming out from the store. “Remus, have you found anything?”

“Not as of yet, however I did leave her picture here for the attendant. He said he would show it around. It seems they have a lot of wanderers down this way, you know the kind.”

“Yeah, Mundungus,” Fred scowled.

The parking lot was fairly empty with the exception of a few locals and hard core outdoorsmen. An old beat up truck was loading up on bait and there was a car that looked to be older than both Fred and George, filling up with fuel. They discussed a deeper search of the area when they thought a trip back to the pitch would be best. They needed to share their information and let everyone know about this area, the possibility of a great hiding place for a kidnapper.

**********


Rose thrust the piece of metal directly at the taillight of the car. It cracked and she went again without stopping. As she readied to hit again keys could be heard, someone was trying to get it after her. She wasn’t about to let them bang her up even more, she held on tight and waited for the boot to be lifted.

When the first sign of light peered in she closed her eyes and put every ounce of her energy into the stick of iron in her hand and hit…something. She heard a crack and then a scream and she added to the drama by screaming along with her attacker and without thinking she opened her eyes and swung again. Her attacker had not a clue that she had swung again, they were to busy worrying about the blood that fell from the broken nose on their face and the pain didn’t allow them to see her advance.

“Get off of me you little brat,”

“You hadn’t need to worry about me had you not taken me you big goon. You snatch me then you have the nerve to tell me to get off of you, have you lost your mind…you made the mistake of choosing me you big oaf.”

Rose never stopped her yelling or her hitting but not only was she yelling she was scolding him much like an adult would a child. She never noticed those that were around them but she didn’t seem to care. She would ensure that he didn’t try this again, at least not anytime soon.

**********


Remus strolled into the room that was currently being occupied by the Weasley’s and wished that he had better news for them. Fred and George were close behind him and they all took seats around a conjured table and explained to the others about “Ucky’s”. Hermione had awoken and staggered to the table with Ron’s help to listen in on the conversation.

“As you all know, Alastor has a fresh group out looking for her and the best thing for you all to do is to get some rest. And I know that will be hard but you all know it is best.” As Remus lectured them Mr. Weasley popped in with an arm full of parchment.

“Profiles,” he said as he passed them out. “Most are known child abductors but I wasn’t picky, if they were abductors, I got them.”

“Shouldn’t we start with those closer to the area,” Bill asked as he scanned over some of those closer to him.

“No,” Hermione finally spoke, “this isn’t a normal child abductor. This is a revenge abduction.”

The room remained silent as she spoke. She then went on but not as though she was explaining to them but as though she was playing it out in her head. Figuring out what they were thinking or what they wanted.

“They aren’t looking for money or they would have left something behind, a note. But there are so many of us that this could hurt. They could be trying to hurt me for something I did at the Magical Creatures department or Ron, for something he did in the Auror’s office. If it were Harry they wanted to hurt they would have taken Ginny,” she rambled on and on.

**********


“Get up!”

Draco groaned as he felt the toe of a shoe rammed deep into his ribs, before he could focus he felt a hand come down on his face causing the already existing wounds to re-split. He felt blood trickle down the side of his face and the taste of blood from his busted lip.

Daisy’s father was standing over him, wand drawn. “We are moving,” he snarled.

Before Draco could speak he was bound and floating in mid air.

Author's note: Chapter 13 is written and I will be working on getting it typed and posted very soon. (as in a couple of days, around the 10th) And I will set off to writing the 14th chapter. I want to post more chapters quicker for you all seeing that that last few post have been delayed quite a bit. Enjoy!!! Thanks again for reading and reviewing...EVERYONE>

Chapter 13: Hard Knock Life
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Chapter 13


Hard Knock Life


Draco was flung into the boot of an old car and he was faced down when he noticed the floor was rusted out in small patches. Now, at first he only imagined himself falling through as they barreled down some road and eating the asphalt beneath him. He was unable to move his extremities due to the ropes that had been placed on him, but not long after the car was moving he had an idea. He turned his head as best he could; trying to find something, anything, to help him carry out his plan.

**********


Alastor Moody leaned against a post just outside an all-night Stop and Go studying every hood that walked by; he pulled his hat down lower when he noticed a group of teenage muggles staring at him. Their attention was soon diverted by a massive man that they would have sworn had just thawed from an ancient block of ice. As he grew closer a grunt caused the group to dash in every direction to flee out of reach.

“Hagrid, anything,” Moody asked as he kept his eye on the teenage group.

Hagrid didn’t have the heart to say ‘no’.

The two of them stood in silence as a light mist began to fall. The steam from the hot ground began to rise making their appearances seem that much spookier. They watched mysteriously as cars came and went. Travelers would pull in to fill up, grab a drink and be on their ways, nothing too out of the ordinary.

Moody scanned the area periodically concentrating on the muggle vehicles. As he looked about, he noticed one that looked to have a live object in its boot. He jumped from his place, closely followed by Hagrid. Before they came upon it they noticed the driver walk to the rear of the automobile and begin to open it.

As they crossed the lot and circled the automobile they heard scream erupt from the man causing store patrons to stop what they were doing and watch without moving. A child’s voice could be heard amid the man’s screams. Hagrid widened his stride and was upon the scene several seconds ahead of Moody. He snatched the man by the collar, lifting him from his feet. His attacker continued to swing her weapon as she yelled at him, all the while her eyes were closed tight.

“Woah, ho, ho,” Hagrid bellowed as the tire iron came within inches of his jaw.

**********


Draco searched as he thought long and hard about what he wanted to do when he spotted the perfect inanimate accomplice, however any accomplice would be nice right about now. The heat of the dry night and exhaust of the automobile caused beads of sweat to pour from his forehead, this is turn hindered his ability too see although the lack of light wasn’t helping either. His eyes began to sting from the salt in his sweat as it trickled into them. He shook his head frantically feeling much like a rain soaked dog. Amid the fit he seemed to be having he spotted a collection of nuts and bolts scattered about.

Draco stretched to the best of his ability and craned his neck, he got one. Just as he grasped the bolt in his mouth the car jerked after running through a series of potholes. He lurched his head forward to keep himself from swallowing the bolt. Once he regained control of it he found the rusty hole and dropped it.

After dropping the third of the bolts he waited. He thought his best bet would be to listen for other vehicles. He only wishes he had thought of that sooner. He then worried about what would happen should a muggle try to intervene. Yes, he wanted to be found, but he didn’t want someone killed because of him. He stopped tossing out the bolts and began to rethink his plan.

**********


The Weasley family sat around the room, blood shot eyes and all, waiting for the least bit of news. Fleur and Angelina had left the group and aide in the search as others came in for a bit of a rest.

Many had fallen forward, limp onto the table, catching a few winks while others found refuge on the floor in various corners. Those that were awake took notice when a formal looking couple entered the room with a little girl. Mr. Weasley met the man and introduced himself.

“Mr. Weasley, I’m Frank LaVeau and this is my wife Charlotte and out daughter, Victoria.”

Hermione covered her mouth and followed close behind Ron as they drew closer to meet the visitors and listen in on the youngest story.

“Arthur Weasley,” he introduced himself, “and this is my son, Ron, and his wife, Hermione.”

Once Mr. Weasley said Hermione the little girl burst into tears and tried to speak through her tears. Hermione knelt before the little girl and tried calming her.

“Slow down, what has happened?” Hermione asked through saddened eyes.

“I saw the man talking to her,” she whimpered. “She walked off with him but once they passed under the curtains that led to the stairs I heard her scream.”

Ron felt the blood rush to her face and began screaming at the girl. “Why didn’t you tell someone?”

This only caused the girl to cry uncontrollably.

“Ron, calm down,” Mrs. Weasley warned as she held onto her youngest sons arm. “She’s only a child.”

Bill put an arm around his youngest brother’s shoulder and pulled him away. “Come on, let’s take a walk, you need some air.”

Ron followed his brother’s lead and let him lead him out. Victoria began to relax again and explained herself.

“I thought he was a relative and she was in trouble, I overhead them talking about being afraid of getting caught.”

“Liar!” P.J. screamed.

Penelope looked at her son and scolded him for such an outburst. “Percy Weasley, Jr., you are to apologize at once.”

“But she is,” he gasped, “she and her friend were mean to us, she didn’t want to tell.”

“I’m sorry, really I am,” she cried, “forgive me.”

After everyone was calmed Harry rolled out the parchments for Victoria to look at. “Remember, if they so much as resemble the guy let us know,” Harry reminded her.

**********


Daisy lay awake in her bed and watched her children sleeping. She decided the best thing for herself to do is to wait to hear from her family. The anticipation was killing her. What were they doing to Draco? Why hadn’t they contacted her yet?

Winnie tossed and turned and let out a whimper. Daisy knew this was hurting the children and she didn’t know how to help them. She wanted nothing more than to destroy her family for doing this to her children. She closed her eyes and as she did her tears began to flood from her. Draco had been the first person to really care about her and because of her he was in danger. She choose to withhold the truth from him even though he would have been the one person to understand her. She should have trusted him with all of her secrets. He could have possibly seen this coming or at least knew what to do about them.

**********


Ron and Bill rejoined the group and watched as Victoria combed through the many pictures known criminals. Ron walked over to Victoria’s parents and apologized before joining her and Hermione at the table.

The gruff voice of Hagrid could be heard and all eyes turned to the entrance. He appeared through the door lugging a very large man by the scruff of the neck. Ron tilted his head and squinted to see who he was but the blood that covered his face made it quite difficult.

Ginny gasped and said in a quizzical manner. “Cameron Cullen?”

Once she recognized who he was Alastor Moody appeared from behind Hagrid carrying Rose. Everyone ran, lead by Hermione, to gather the little girl while Ron put two and two together.

“Well you sorry little…” Ron jumped over the table and pounced on top of Cullen, pounding his already broken nose, looking like a lion on the attack.

Harry rushed forward along with Fred and George and began trying to pull Ron from Cullen’s face.

“I’ll kill him,” Ron screamed, “get off me, Harry; give me five minutes with the scum bag.”

Hagrid swung the man around away from Ron’s reach and in doing so he slammed him into the wall beside him, face first.

Mr. Weasley was taken aback by the man’s appearance. “Hagrid, what have you done to your prisoner?”

“Not me sir, Rose did this with an iron rod,” Hagrid corrected.

“And I’m going to finish him off,” Ron yelled as he scrambled to free himself from the grips of Harry and his brothers.

“Ron,” Hermione scolded, “shouldn’t you be over here with your daughter.”

“Yeah, as soon as I pound this sorry…”

“Ronald Bilius Weasley,” Mrs. Weasley shrieked.

Ron suddenly stopped and turned slowly to see his mother standing beside Hermione who held Rose. Rose’s hair was much more out of control than normal and dirt streaked her pale, freckled face. “Daddy,” Rose said and held her arms out for him.

Without a second thought Ron rushed to her and took her from Hermione’s arms. He held her to close to him and buried his face in her tangled hair and began to cry.


Author's Note: As promised, another chapter and I hope that you enjoy it. I'm trying to get as far ahead as possible because my semester begins NEXT WEEK!!!!

Chapter 14: Searching For Answers
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Chapter 14


Searching For Answers


Several of the Swamprat’s players had taken to the sky over the depths of the bayou to help search for Rose. Because they weren’t members of the Order or the Ministry they hadn’t a clue that Rose had been found. Danny, the seeker, and his team knew these swamps like the back of their hands, having grown up here. They knew all the hiding places.

The bright moonlight overhead cast a shadow underneath the hundred year old trees that resembled that of an ancient old monster that they all heard about as children. The wildly bent branches looked like mile long arms of the infamous Teddy Bogus. Although adults, they couldn’t help but recall the stories told by the family elders to keep the kiddies in line and have the hair on their necks stand up.

Hovering close to the treetops Danny notices a vehicle that had to have been thirty plus years old traveling down a secluded highway and moves in for a closer look. The car drove along a bit slow although that could be due to the age of the vehicle itself.

**********


Hermione hovered close to Rose’s side in the hotel suite while Mr. and Mrs. Weasley spoke with the Healer that had been called to check on Rose after her ordeal.

“I assure you Mr. Weasley, she is quite alright, nothing a good rest can’t handle.” He pats the Minister’s shoulder while placing the other arm around Mrs. Weasley. “She’s a strong girl, just like her Mum, she proved that tonight.”

Mrs. Weasley had one hand over her heart trying to calm her self a bit. “Neville, what a good friend you are, such a sweet boy.”

Even after all these years and growing up Neville couldn’t help but blush at the words of Mrs. Weasley.

Ron stood in the corner of the room with Harry and Ginny, watching Hermione and Rose intently. “I want to be with Mad-Eye while he questions the louse,” Ron said out loud, more to himself than to the others.

“Ron, you should be with your wife and child, you being there while they question Cullen will only make things worse,” Harry reasoned.

Ron glared at Harry as he never had before. “Do you honestly expect me to stand around here while that bloody moron is in the Ministry’s custody? I’m going to make sure he is punished severely, even if I am the one that has to do it.”

Harry could only imagine the ire Ron felt for Cameron Cullen and knew that if the tables were turned there would be absolutely nothing that could keep him away from the creep.

**********


Daisy slept soundly for the first time in quite some time. After waking she felt guilty for actually enjoying her rest when Draco had probably not had a decent sleep since his abduction. She swung her legs over the side of the bed and placed her feet onto the cool floor. She ran her fingers through her hair and stood, taking her dressing gown from the foot of her bed. As she walked down the hall she yawned as she put on the dressing gown. The smell of fresh brewed coffee filled the room and she smiled at her guest.

“Sleep well,” Daisy asked as she poured her own cup.

“With one eye open,”

Daisy joined Tonks at the table, curling her legs into the chair.
The Ministry placed Tonks in the house with Daisy thinking she was the best option. She didn’t act of look like your typical Auror. Her short, gravity defying hair was blue this week and her skirts were nearly as short.

Daisy had grown accustomed to the company but it still couldn’t fill the void left by Draco’s absence. The children were asking fewer and fewer questions and that bothered Daisy as well. Tonks was able to keep the children entertained and Daisy thought that is might just be for the best. If Draco didn’t make it home it might prove to make it easier on the children. They were so young and impressionable.

*********


Ron looked on without anyone’s knowledge of his presence and held firm to his ire for the man who sat across from Mad-Eye. The dark stone wall behind Cullen made him appear all the more pale; he looked as though every ounce of blood had been drained from his body. Ron had arisen in the dead of night, nicking Harry’s invisibility cloak and apparated back to the Ministry in London. It proved to be a daunting task to stand so close to the man and not say or do anything. Controlling his staggering breath was becoming just as laborious.

“Come in,” Mad-Eye bellowed before a knock was even heard.

Harry burst into the room and looked about intently. It was empty aside from Cullen, Mad-Eye, their chairs and the table that sat between them. As he stood is dismay, Mad-Eye rose from his chair and escorted Harry back through the door.

“Have you seen Ron,” Harry blurted as Mad-Eye shut the heavy door behind him. “He slipped out and Hermione is beside herself with thoughts of what Ron has gone to do.”

“Relax Potter,” Mad-Eye said just as calm as he would if he were discussing the weather. “He’s fine, he’s in there,” and he pointed into the room from which they just came. Before Harry could object or question Mad-Eye, he turned to return to the room. “Let’s just humor him and let him be, for now.”

Cullen continued to sit without the least bit of emotion and stared into what Harry thought to be nothing more than empty space. And at the same time Ron glared into Cullen’s eyes trying to see the motivation behind what he had done.

Harry conjured a chair next to Mad-Eye and sat, waiting to see what was about to transpire. The musty smell of the damp stone only added to the eeriness of the cramped quarters. He had spent many a night and day in here interrogating death eaters and he always had the same feeling. He supposed it reminded him too much of the cupboard under the stairs. Without windows, the days and nights began to run together making you lose all sense of time, much like his summers at Privet Drive. His daydreaming was soon halted when the door flung open.

Severus Snape crept into the room in his usual stealthy manner. Although Harry still despised the sight of him, he had proven himself to be a born again good guy who despised law breakers, whoever they may be. He slammed a vial onto the table in front of Cullen and swooped low and hovered.

Harry knew at once what the vial contained, having been threatened with it a time or two, himself. The colorless, odorless liquid was none other than veritaserum. The potion that would make even the toughest of men spill their deepest, darkest secret.

Snape sneered into Cullen’s ear. “You may not voluntarily speak but this will make you explain why you feel it necessary to abduct helpless little girls.”

Harry had to admit Snape could be very intimidating and an excellent brewer of potions, but at this point all the intimidation in the world hadn’t made Cullen utter so much as a word. He acted nothing like the arrogant Quidditch player he and Ron had encountered in Ginny’s office just a few short months ago.

Just as Snape and Mad-Eye were about to administer the contents to Cullen he fell to the floor where he began to jerk violently. Mediwizards rushed into the room and directed everyone else out. Mad-Eye spun and with one great motion heaved at the air and stepped from the room and dropped the bundle.

Ron appeared partially on the floor and stood as he rubbed his backside. His face had shown red with built up aggression. He didn’t speak; he should have known Mad-Eye would have seen him even with the cloak.

Mad-Eye spoke, “Harry, go inform the inconsiderate bum’s family he’s okay.”

Ron didn’t say a word he only waited for the lecture much like those he had heard as a young boy. He knew he would catch nine kinds of hell for leaving without telling anyone. There had been entirely too many people disappearing lately. But Mad-Eye didn’t say much more.

“How ‘bout some tea,” Mad-Eye asked as he dropped a heavy hand onto Ron’s shoulder.

“No, thanks, I just want to see that man locked up in Azkaban,” Ron huffed as he wondered why everyone kept offering him tea. What he needed was a good stiff fire whiskey.


Chapter 15: Virgil's Brew
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Chapter 15


Virgil’s Brew


Hermione rushed about her rented room along with Mrs. Weasley packing their things for the trip back to Ottery St. Catchpole. She wanted to leave this entire ordeal behind her. What began as a wonderful holiday, ended up being a disastrous nightmare. Rose continued to sleep, curled up in the middle of the large bed, not stirring in the least bit. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley both agreed that the whole thing had been much harder on all of them than it had been on Rose herself. Children were resilient that way. Hermione was startled by the boisterous bump of the door as Mr. Weasley entered the room rather quickly, his hair a disheveled mess with the look of extreme fatigue shining from his eyes.

“They’ve found Ron,” Mr. Weasley managed through a tired breath. “He was at the Ministry, it seems he nicked Harry’s cloak and slipped into the interrogation room with Cullen.”

“Good!” Hermione burst, both with relief and excitement, “because now I’m going to kill him.” She sat on the edge of the bed heavily and began to sob. She cried tears of joy, fright and anger. Always being the sensible one was finally beginning to catch up with her. It was her turn to be an emotional mess and Ron was just a short while from the wrath of Hermione.

Mrs. Weasley leaned into Mr. Weasley and whispered, “And whatever is left I’m getting. I’ll teach him to worry his mum that way, I’m not young anymore, you know. My old heart just can’t keep taking these types of things.”

**********


Harry persuaded Ron to leave the Ministry with a promise from Mad-Eye to contact them the minute anything changes. After Ron apologized for his disappearing act, he and Harry headed for The Village Idiot for a drink to calm his nerves. The low light and get away location was the perfect place to forget the events of the past few days and he intended to do just that, forget.

“Now you know that Hermione is going to kill you, don’t you,” Harry asked Ron.

“Well, yeah, that’s why I need the drink, it’ll kill the pain,” Ron retorted.

“How about a fire whiskey,” Ron yelled to the innkeeper, Virgil, and he and Harry took stools at the far end of the bar.

“I’ll do you one better, Bantam,” Virgil said and slung a glass for each of them on the bar and began to fill them.

Now, Ron hated the nickname Virgil had given him he sure liked the treatment he received when he came in. Virgil said he had always admired Ron’s big attitude as a youngster where his brothers were concerned even thought they always got the better of him. He said Ron reminded him of a little Bantam rooster that kept going back for more.

Harry and Ron simultaneously turned up their glasses and took nice long gulps. They both held back the need to cough when the liquid went from a cool burst of refreshment to a spike of spice as it went down. However, it didn’t keep them from taking a second and eventually a third. The unique flavor made it irresistible and it soon became a pleasure as the taste grew on them.

Once Ron was calm, the two of them began to enjoy themselves and Virgil continued to fill their glasses. At one point Harry spat a mouthful of the concoction across the bar at a joke Ron made. Virgil soon reminded them they still had to face to music at home. Hermione knew where they were but Ron didn’t know that. They soon decided it would be in their best judgment to get home and opted to walk. They didn’t like the idea of splinching themselves or ending up in the wrong fireplace from poor enunciation.

The Golden Goose, which is what Virgil called his unique beverage, kept the two of them warm as they stepped into the cool breeze of the brisk night air. The village was relatively quite with the exception of the occasional shrieking cat or barking dog. The further they walked the more distant these sounds became but the sounds of the marsh frogs and crickets became louder accompanied by the occasional owl here and there. The moonlight soon replaced the light of the fire lit lamppost and the stars shone bright in the moor night sky.

The breeze would pick up and as it did a rainfall of leaves would fell upon the pair as they staggered down the dirt trail. Not far in the distance faint lights could be seen shining from the windows of quite a few houses. The first, of, which belonged to Ron and Hermione.

The gate surrounding the house and fairly large garden was made entirely of braided grape wines and small saplings that supported the vast amount of ivy that grew upon it. Harry reached forward to push the gate and felt the breath knocked him as Ron tackled him from behind, laughing. Harry scrambled to his feet as Ron pushed him aside.

“Beat you to the door,” Ron teased as if he were ten again.

Harry made a mad dash forward catching up with Ron just as he came to the door and turned the handle. The two of them fell in the front door, Harry landing on Ron with a thud.

“What in the name of Merlin,” Hermione gasped as she and Ginny sat in awe of the two of them lying there in a mangled heap.

Harry and Ron looked up at Hermione and Ginny and then to each other and began laughing for no apparent reason. Once they were able to control themselves they tried to get to their feet only to fall again, this time a little further into the room. Ginny stood, stepped over the two of them, and shut the door as she continued to examine their odd behavior.

“Hermione,” Ginny said perplexedly, “I do believe the two of them are pissed.”

Ron looked at his sister as he again tried to stand, this time a bit more successful, as he caught himself on the arm of the sofa. “You haven’t a clue as to what you’re talking about,” Ron objected, “I’m as sober as you are my dear sister.”

As Ron finished his last statement Harry, too, steadied himself, only to take a few steps from Ron’s side, he looked up and then at Ron.

“What,” Ron questioned as innocently as possible.

“I’m steering clear of that bolt of lightening that’s about to strike you.”

Hermione tried to hold back a snicker, still wanting to be mad at Ron. “Ron, darling, that wouldn’t be the infamous smell of the Village Idiot lingering upon your breath?”

Ron fell over the end of the sofa, landing face down into a pile of cushions that lay upon it. He turned himself over only to grin quickly at her before fixating his gaze upon the ceiling. He grabbed onto the back of the sofa with one hand and tried to grab onto thin air with the other. He then threw a foot to the floor. “The room is spinning,” Ron said, closing his eyes, only making it worse.

Hermione stood over Ron with her arms folded in front of her, “Serves you right, maybe you’ll think twice before leaving your family in the dark during such a crisis, you inconsiderate pillock, won’t you ever learn?” She continued, only getting louder with each word, but Ron didn’t seem to notice, seeing that he was out cold.

Ginny stood next to Hermione, shaking her head at the two of them. “Pathetic, aren’t they?” She said through a giggle.

Hermione nodded, unable to hide the smile that played across her face.

“Looks like we’ll be staying over tonight,” Ginny said.

Harry lay haphazardly on the chaise lounge, hair displaying a mind of its own and glasses knocked askew across his face.

Hermione led Ginny up the stairs, intending to let them sleep as uncomfortable as possible. “I hope he has a headache that size of a Hungarian Horntail in the morning.” Hermione added as they came to the second floor landing.



Author's Note: I know it's short, but I promise the next will be longer...thanks for reading.

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