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Chapter 8: The Malfoy Manor

The next morning dawned cool and bright as I packed up my stuff for the trip to the Malfoy Manor.  No one knew that I wasn’t going home to the Glades with the rest of the family; Dad had come in and woken me up early, he told me to get packed because we were leaving before everyone else got up. 

“Its for the best”

I told my mirror as I clicked the lock into place and started pulling my trunk downstairs.  I got about halfway down the stairs when I ran into Uncle Blaise,

“You’re up early Tori dear and already packed?  We’re not leaving until this afternoon.” 

I looked at the floor,

“I’m not coming with you; I’ve decided I’m going home with Dad.” 

He nodded thoughtfully,

“I’ve always seen you as your Daddy’s girl, it wouldn’t be right if you came home with us and left your father all alone.” 

He gave me a hug and kissed the top of my head before he levitated my trunk the rest of the way down the stairs and into the kitchen. 

“Take care of yourself girl.” 

“I will Uncle Blaise.” 

As I walked through the door to the kitchen the talking stopped and sitting at the table were, Mum, Dad, Grandmum Weasley, Bill, and Fleur. 

“Morning everyone.” 

I said as I sat down next to Dad and started fixing a piece of toast and a cup of tea. 

“Good morning love, how did you sleep?” 

Grandmum Weasley was the first to speak, probably trying to break the silence that had appeared when I walked into the room.  They had been talking about me, that much I was sure of and I was pretty sure of what they were saying but I didn’t press them for details.  After breakfast, I hugged everyone goodbye, took a handful of Floo Powder, and was on my way. 

“Who’s this beautiful young woman?”

I had just stepped out of the fireplace,

“Grandmum!” 

I ran over and gave her a kiss and a hug before Dad had even appeared in the fireplace.  He strolled the length of the room in about 5 steps and gave Grandmum a kiss on the cheek before walking through the door.  We didn’t see him the rest of that day or the next and by noon on the third day I started to worry. 

“Grandmum, I’m worried about Dad, I haven’t seen him at all since Christmas.” 

She sighed,

“Your father is pining for your Mum, he doesn’t know what to do when he can’t fix something and so he’s locked himself in his room.  Why don’t you go talk to him, maybe he’ll realize what he has right in front of him.  A beautiful daughter who’s growing up way to fast.” 

I grinned before jumping up from the table.  I searched around the house for Dad and it wasn’t until mid afternoon that I actually found him.  He was sitting alone in one of the libraries on the far end of the Manor;

“Dad?  Are you okay?” 

He didn’t look up, I touched his shoulder and when he looked up I could see his eyes were bloodshot, he hadn’t shaved, and it looked like he had been drinking. 

“Tori?” 

He grunted, he’d probably been sleeping,

“Are you having fun baby?” 

“Dad snap out of it!  You haven’t lost Mum yet but if you keep acting like this you will.  You’re a Malfoy!  You’ve always told me that Malfoys fight for what they want and you’re not fighting.” 

I started crying, my Dad had given up.  I spent the rest of the day by his side, as I held him in my arms I realized that in a few short days I had grown from a girl of eleven into a whole lot more.

The next day dawned bright and as I was eating breakfast and owl appeared at the window. Tap tap.  As I slid the pane of glass up the majestic bird stuck out its leg for me and waited as I broke the seal and read the letter.

Dear Tori,

I hope you had a brilliant Christmas.  I got your gift and it was bloody awesome!  Anyway I was writing to ask you if you wanted to come over for dinner on Thursday.  The time is dragging by without you.

Yours always,
Justin.


I scribbled a quick reply and sent it on with the owl before I went back to my breakfast.  As I was finishing up with the Daily Prophet and my eggs Dad walked in.  He looked well rested, he’d shaved, and he was actually smiling.  He kissed the top of my head, sat down, and started piling food onto his plate; now this was the Dad I remembered. 

“Daddy.”  

I said sweetly,

“Is it alright if I go over to the Flints for dinner on Thursday night?” 

He tilted his head and looked at me,

“Isn’t their son a fifth year?” 

I could feel myself blushing as I nodded but hurried to add,

“He’s the Capitan of the Quidditch team.” 

Dad grinned; he bloody well knew that being the Quidditch Capitan wasn’t the only reason I wanted to go. 

“I don’t care if you go but why don’t you invite him to stay the weekend, he can sleep in one of the guest rooms and we’ll get him on the train on Monday.  That way I can make sure he’s treating my baby girl the right way.” 

He winked at me as I dashed around the table to give him a hug.

As Thursday approached I began to worry that Justin’s parents wouldn’t allow him to stay with us for the rest of the weekend so I sent an owl to Georgie asking her if she wanted to come for the weekend also.  I had been thinking about what Mum said and I didn’t want to give anyone outside of our family a reason to think I cared about Justin, as more than a friend, when I wasn’t sure myself so having Georgie around would be good cover. 

I spent my days outside practicing Quidditch with Dad near the back of the yard, there was good tree cover there and as long as we used golf balls none of the neighbors could see what we were doing.  During the time when I wasn’t playing Quidditch with Dad I was working on my homework, trying to get ahead and using magic, even though I wasn’t supposed to.  On Wednesday evening I was in the library reading my newest book An Intermediate Guide to Ancient Ruins By: Helga Hunter, when I noticed a flash of lightning streak across the sky and then there was a great clap of thunder. 

I set my book down and walked across the room to shut the curtains, while on my way back I noticed some books I’d never seen before.  They were black leather-bound books with gold embossed title in some weird symbols that I thought could be Ancient Runes but I wasn’t sure.  I took out the first one I saw and opened it, as I was paging through it I found a few symbols that I recognized; it was a book about the Dark Arts.  The few sentences that I could make out left me wanting to read more, I picked up my other book and went back to my room. 

I would have to wait until I got back to Hogwarts and then I would check out some more books on Ancient Runes from the library but for now it would have to wait.  I spent the rest of the night getting ready for my visit with the Flints; I took a long hot bubble bath, I was in there so long that my fingers and toes came out all shriveled but once I had gotten dressed and laid down in bed I felt much calmer.

The next morning I woke up with a start, almost as though someone had just clashed two cymbals together right next to my ear; it took me a minute to realize where I was and what day it was but as soon as I did I jumped out of bed.  I rushed downstairs and into the dinning room for breakfast. 

“Morning Dad, Grandmum.” 

I gave them both a kiss and then sat down at the table. 

“Good Morning dear, are you excited about going to visit the Flints today?” 

I nodded,

“We’ll have a great time strategizing for the Slytherin/Hufflepuff game.” 

I grinned as I filled my plate with breakfast items and as soon as I was done eating I asked to be excused and ran upstairs to shower and get dressed.  The next thing I knew it was time to leave, the morning had gone by so quickly! 

Dad and I were going to take the horse-drawn carriage since the Flints only lived a few miles away and he wanted to ask in person if Justin could spend the weekend at the Manor.  As we rode up the long driveway to the front of their house I looked around at their yard, it was huge!  That’s when I noticed a 15-year-old boy flying around a makeshift Quidditch Pitch near the end of the property and I sighed as we came to a stop.

We stepped out of the carriage as Mr. And Mrs. Flint and two little ones came around the side of the house to greet us.  My Dad stepped forward as they neared,

“Marcus, good to see you.” 

They shook hands and then Dad kissed Mrs. Flint on the cheek. 

“This is my daughter Victoria.” 

I smiled and shook their hands before Dad continued,

“I was hoping that you both would be inclined to let Justin stay at the manor for the rest of the week, Georgina Black is going to be staying with us also and that way you won’t have to make a trip to Kings Cross.” 

“They will be adequately supervised?” 

“Of course Gina, I wouldn’t have it any other way.” 

As the adults were talking, Justin snuck up behind me and grabbed my hand, only for a fraction of a second but I felt it nonetheless and it didn’t stop my stomach from exploding with butterflies. 

“Mother, I’m going to shower up for dinner quickly.  Tori, come you can keep the little ones company while the adults talk.” 

He winked at me.  I looked at the little Flints; there was Bianca who was three and Xavier who was five.  They bound over to me and each took a hand before pulling me towards the house,

“Bye Dad, we’ll see you later tonight”

I called over my shoulder as they pulled me through the door.  He waved and smiled; as soon as the door was shut Justin turned to the little ones,

“Why don’t you guys go to the playroom and pick out some toys to show Tori and we’ll be along in a minute alright?” 

They nodded and ran off.  Justin took my hand and pulled me down the hall into what I assumed was his bedroom and shut the door.  He put his hands on my waist before pulling me into a hug,

“I missed you so much.”

He said into my hair, we stood there for a few moments before he pulled away and gave me a quick peck on the cheek. 

“We’d better go or the little ones will be in here soon.” 

I nodded sadly; I didn’t want to move, I wanted to stay there forever but I let him lead me down the hall to the playroom.  He stopped right outside the door,

“I’ll just be a few minutes.” 

I nodded and turned the handle as he walked back down the hall. 

“Hey you guys, what do you have there?” 

I asked as I walked through the playroom door, Bianca ran over to me and tugged on my arm, pulling me over to her toy cauldron equipped with toy potion ingredients and everything.  I could tell that she was going to be a great potions mistress when she was all grown up; she handled the herbs like a pro. 

As I looked over at Xavier I could see that he was playing with old quaffles, bludgers, and snitches; I could see that he was going to take after his big brother, which made me smile.  I played with each of them and Xavier thought it was so cool that I was on the Slytherin Quidditch team with his brother. 

“I didn’t know girls could play Quidditch!” 

“Of course they can.” 

I smiled at him,

“When you’re the Capitan of the team like your brother is, you want the best team you can get and if there’s a girl whose loads better than a boy then you’d want to put the girl on your team.  You want to win right?” 

He nodded and grinned; that’s when Justin snuck in and tried to surprise me. 

“Hey Justin.” 

I said as he was inches away from me,

“How did you know I was here?” 

I turned and smiled at him,

“I’ll tell you later maybe.” 

He pouted a little bit but nodded.  Just then a house elf appeared,

“Master Justin, I is here to watch the little ones so you and Miss Malfoy is alright to leave.” 

We thanked the elf and disappeared into the far corner of the library, here I saw that they had made a common room of sorts for Justin to bring his friends.  It was quaint, decorated in the Slytherin colors, there were comfy couches and chairs with a table where I suspect Justin does his homework when he’s home.  He sat down in a chair and pulled me onto his lap,

“You’re so beautiful Tori.” 

I smiled and sighed as I lay my head down on his chest; he was playing with my curls when his hand brushed the chain around my neck.  I sat up, my eyes wide as he pulled it out of my shirt and immediately turned it over, I could see the shock in his eyes as he read our names as he looked up our eyes met and the realization of what we both felt was communicated whether we wanted to or not.

Dinner that night was uncomfortable, as we were served the first course the questions started. 

“Now tell us about your mother dear.  What did you say her name was again?” 

I hesitated,

“My mum was known at Hogwarts as Hermione Granger, everyone thought she was a muggle-born but it turns out she was adopted by some muggles after her parents were killed.” 

They nodded, I could tell that they weren’t sure whether to believe me or not but they moved on. 

“Justin tells us you have a twin brother, is that correct?” 

I nodded,

“I also have two sisters that are six years old.” 

They nodded again,

“Justin tells us that you’re a very bright young lady.” 

My eyes connected with his and he blushed. 

“I guess you could say that I take after my mum in that aspect.  I’ve gotten full marks on everything so far.” 

Again they nodded.  I was glad when the Malfoy carriage arrived and once the house elves had loaded Justin’s trunk we were off; we sat in silence as the carriage rolled down the road, I laid my head on Justin’s shoulder and willed away the stress from dinner.  It wasn’t long before the carriage rolled to a stop outside the front door of the Manor; Justin jumped out and offered me a hand before following me inside.  Once we were in the entryway he requested to see my father and as though he had expected this, Dad appeared in the doorway to the dinning room. 

“What can I do for you son?” 

Justin looked him right in the eye and said,

“May I speak with you sir?  Perhaps alone?” 

He nodded and signaled for Justin to follow.

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