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.
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