The days since the battle at Grimmauld Place had been the worst days that Draco and Blaise had ever experienced. No one smiled. No one spoke. Everyone was just in pain. They were all aching from the sadness that clung to their hearts.
They had just been to visit Daphne and Theo and were now on their way to the canteen in St Mungo's. Some of their friends had been hit with very dark and nasty curses the night that they had stormed over to Grimmauld Place. Daphne and Theo had been hit the worst but they would be ready to go home in an hour. Ginny Weasley had also been hit with a particularly evil spell and after being in a critical condition for the first two days, she had finally been allowed home yesterday. Draco and Blaise had even been to visit her in hospital, along with Pansy. Although no one spoke of it, the Gryffindors and Slytherins felt a certain connection now, after the ordeal that they had been through.
Blaise brought over two black coffees for himself and Draco as they sat at a table together. The Daily Prophet's headlines flashed at them as the newspaper lay before them. The escaped Death Eaters were now back in Azkaban under extra security. That wasn't enough for Draco and Blaise though and it made them sick. Rotting away in Azkaban was too lenient of a fate for the scum. They wanted them to suffer, they wanted them to die. It made their skin scrawl thinking that those people still lived on the same planet as them and that they were in the same country as them, even if it was in a high security prison.
The cheap coffee tasted like tar in their mouths but they continued to drink it. They would do anything to try and keep themselves busy, to try and take their minds off what was going on. Blaise's Mother was inconsolable and his Father was slowly breaking although he was trying to keep strong for his family. Lucius and Narcissa tried to tend to the Zabini's every need but even they couldn't disguise the heartbreak and worry they were feeling.
The boys just stared at anything and everything. They weren't people who displayed much emotion and they didn't see the use in talking about their pain. They both stared unblinking, wondering what had gone so wrong in their lives. Their silent words were interrupted by the voice of a raven haired boy.
"Malfoy! Zabini! Quick, hurry!", Harry Potter shouted as he ran back down the corridor he had just appeared from.
Draco and Blaise sprang to their feet as they ran down the same corridor and through the double doors that led to Room 2994.
Inside, they saw thick lashes flickering as two eyes struggled to open for the first time in almost a week. A sound emitted from a heart shaped mouth and the group of people moved closer to hear what it was.
It was the quietest of whispers they had ever heard but it was enough for them to know what had been said.
At seeing his son not taking action, Lucius Malfoy nudged Draco to the side of the bed. Mr and Mrs Zabini, Blaise, Pansy, Harry, Ron and the Malfoys all stared at him with eyes full of hope. He just prayed he could do enough.
"It's alright, I'm here", he whispered as he held onto the pale bloodied hand that was laying near him, "you're safe now".
He felt a squeeze on his hand so he continued to whisper, leaning closer to the bed.
"Come on, I know you can do this. You're the strongest person I know. We're all here, we just need you to open up those gorgeous eyes of yours. Come on, wake up and I promise to get you the biggest chocolate cake you've ever seen and all the books you could ever imagine", he continued softly as he stroked her soft ebony hair with his free hand.
"You take your time, I'm not going to leave you".
As he ran his fingers along pale porcelain skin, Draco saw two things he never thought he'd see again. The most beautiful crystal orbs were staring up at him.
The room filled with tears, smiles, gasps, sobs and laughter. She was awake. After days of no sign of waking up, after days of waiting and persuading the doctors to keep the life support charm running she was awake.
Draco couldn't help himself, he leaned down and took her into his arms. Her face was still bruised and dry blood coated her cuts but he had never seen a more beautiful sight in his life. There she was with her eyes open, breathing and alive. His Sofia was finally awake.
Blaise had always seen his twin as a very mature and level headed girl but what he had seen at the hospital clearly showed him otherwise. After just two days of being there, Sofia had thrown the biggest tantrum he had ever seen in his life, and his best friend was Draco Malfoy! His sister had begged to leave St Mungo's but after her wish was constantly refused she had somehow mustered the strength to turn her bed over and smash a vase after which she stomped her feet and cried until she had gotten her own way. He was sure that they had only let her leave just to get rid of her. Either way she was now quarantined to her bedroom were the healers had demanded she stayed on bed rest for the next two weeks.
"How's my tiny twin feeling today?", Blaise smiled as he walked into Sofia's bedroom with a tray of pancakes for her.
"The same as yesterday. Bored as hell!", Sofia fumed.
"Come on, it can't be that bad! Mum's had me washing dishes for making the houselves' beds disappear".
"That's your own fault, you shouldn't be so mean to them", his twin reprimanded.
"Well, you're still sick so I can't very well come and pick on you now can I!".
"I suppose that is a perk to being bedridden but come on, Blaise, I'm so bored! Please, please, please, just take me out somewhere?", Sofia begged.
She had been trying this for a week now. He had to admit he felt sorry for her but if she took a turn for the worse because he snook her out of the house, he'd never forgive himself. She still wasn't one hundred percent after the torture she had endured at the hands of Rodolphos and too much too soon could be catastrophic for her. Her body had not healed as fast as her mind had but Sofia just would not accept that.
"I've told you once and I won't tell you again. I am not taking you out until you're better", Blaise said, playing the stern brother routine.
"Fine!", Sofia huffed as she dug into the pancakes Blaise had brought for her.
Every time Blaise came into her room he brought food for her. For a week her body could not cope and rejected any food that Sofia put into her mouth. It had been horrible watching her violently throw up for hours every time she tried. Now, her sallow cheeks were finally getting fuller again and she was on the mend.
The sound of the floo bell rang in her room and Sofia looked to Blaise.
"Ah, seeing as you're so bored, I thought I'd surprise you", he smiled.
One by one all of her friend's stepped out of the fireplace. She hadn't seen them since she had been back at home so Blaise was right when he said it was a surprise.
"It's so good to see you!", Pansy squealed as she came over to hug Sofia.
"After Blaise said how bored you were we thought we'd come and cheer you up!", Daphne explained.
"We come bearing gifts too", Ron grinned who had also brought Luna with him.
"Guys, thank you! You really didn't have to though!", she said as Theo, Pansy, Daphne, Ginny, Harry, Ron, Vinnie, Greg and Adrian placed their presents around her.
One by one she opened them receiving teddies, cards, chocolates, a stationary set, new slippers and pyjamas and even a new handbag.
"But this is so expensive!", Sofia said stunned as she picked up the designer handbag she had been given.
"Well we wanted to get you something special so Ginny and I went shopping and decided to put our money together. It's from both of us", Pansy smiled.
"You two went shopping together!", Ron exclaimed in shock.
"Yeah, Parkinson's alright once you get to know her!", Ginny smiled, as she and Pansy laughed at the use of her last name.
"No seriously, we get on well", Pansy added.
"And it helps that Pansy doesn't spend most of her time in Flourish and Blotts when we go shopping".
"Hey!", Sofia said, catching on that Ginny was aiming that at her, "Books are far more interesting than clothes!".
The group chuckled at this but Sofia soon wore a frown as she realised that someone was missing. Everyone else smiled at each other as they realised who she was looking for.
"Missed me?", came the cocky drawl of Draco Malfoy as he leaned against the doorframe to Sofia's room.
He had been stood there for a little while and also knew who she had been looking for when she had finished opening her presents.
"Not one bit", Sofia replied but everyone could see her glowing smile once she had laid eyes on him.
"I expected as much. Well, you won't be wanting this then will you?", Draco smirked as he waved the purple and silver package in front of her face.
Sofia tried to grab it, eager to get the gift wrap off it. She knew exactly what was beneath the paper as, whether by owl or bringing it himself, Draco had brought her a book every single day since she had woken up. So far they had been new books she was surprised she had never read or limited editions of some of her favourites but no matter what they were she loved them all. When she had finally been able to eat again, he had been true to his word and brought her the biggest chocolate cake she had ever seen. It was the most delicious one she had ever tasted too. However, instead of buying her hundreds of books on one day, Draco said that he would bring her a new book everyday for the rest of their lives so she would eventually have more books than she could ever imagine. She was still in shock that he was sticking to the promise he had made when she had began to awaken that day in St Mungo's.
"Give it to me!", she cried.
"Only if you say please", Draco teased.
"There you go".
As soon as he held it out Sofia snatched it out of his hands and quickly tore off the paper.
"I love it! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!", she exclaimed, cradling her limited edition signed copy of 'Hogwarts: A History' to her chest.
"Seriously, is this not freaking anyone else out?", Adrian asked the group.
"I know, how do you get so excited over a book and one that you've read thousands of times already?!", Theo added.
Sofia glared at the pair as everyone else chuckled or shook there heads with smiles on their faces.
"Now, seeing as you're bed ridden, we thought we'd get bed ridden with you!", Daphne announced.
Blaise, Draco and all of her friends magically changed into their pyjamas and piled into the bed with her. Despite Sofia having a huge bed, it was still a squeeze as there were so many of them but everyone managed to make themselves comfortable.
"Caggie! We're ready now!", Blaise called.
Sofia's beloved elf appeared in her room with a mound of fizzing whizbees, bertie bott's every flavour beans, ice mice, liquorice wands, pumpkin pasties, blood lollies, chocolate frogs and pitchers full to the brim of pumpkin juice. After laying them out in front of them with antispill charms Caggie disappeared as the friends said their thanks.
"Now, I believe this is your favourite!", Harry said as he pulled out the dvd 'The Little Mermaid'.
Sofia smiled as the dvd was put in and the picture appeared on the huge flat screen her parents had bought her for her birthday. Adrian and Theo were fascinated by it, what with them being purebloods, but everyone else was used to it by now having come around so often. As she lay in between her brother and Draco with her friends all around her, Sofia couldn't help but feel happy. Happy and lucky to have such wonderful people in her life.
"Come on, we should let her rest, she hasn't been sleeping very well", Blaise whispered as the group tiptoed out of Sofia's room and into his own, careful not to wake his sleeping twin.
"Why hasn't she been sleeping well?", Harry asked concernedly as everyone got settled in Blaise's bedroom.
"She's been having nightmares. Bad ones", Blaise replied.
Harry and Ron gave each other a knowing look. They knew what sort of nightmares Blaise was talking about as they to had spent many sleepless nights with Sofia after her terrible ordeal at Malfoy Manor.
"Can I ask you guys something? I don't mind if you don't want to answer but I'm just curious", Pansy asked Harry and Ron.
They nodded in response so she continued on.
"How does it feel? Growing up with someone, going through so much with them then having them change like Sofia has?".
"Well", Ron started, "as you know, I didn't take it at all well at first and let me tell you now I've never been so ashamed of myself in my life about what I did at the start of term. It was just so hard. It was like our best friend, our Hermione had died. She had just gone she wasn't there anymore. Imagine if Daphne or Malfoy died. Well, that's what it felt like. But then Harry came around and I started to see what he saw. I saw Hermione. She may not look like Hermione, she may not even be called Hermione but there was no denying it was her. Spending hours in the library, finishing her work first and fretting over homework and exams that were months away. She was Hermione and as soon as I realised that, I was ok with it".
"But why do you still call her Hermione?", Draco asked.
It was a question he had been dying to know for ages.
"For starters she said we could call her Hermione and secondly because she is Hermione. She's Sofia too but she's also Hermione. She's still the person that she used to be, she just looks different. Think of it like us and the Americans, 'tomayto' tomato. Exactly the same things, just with different names", Ron finished.
The Slytherins were surprised that Ron Weasley had come out with something as wise and logical as that. Hell, Harry and Ginny were surprised that those words had come out of Ron's mouth!
Draco nodded his head in response and the rest of the group smiled at him. That was a good enough answer for him and he was more than ready to accept it. It was Blaise who broke the silence as he began to laugh.
"Are you sure she's still the same person? I mean did you SEE that tantrum she threw at St Mungo's?!".
"I thought the girl had gone back a few years! It was like she was five!", Pansy remarked.
"Trust me, that is not the first and that definitely won't be the last!", Harry laughed.
"I know! You should have seen her when we threw her colour coordinated revision planners in the bin!", Ron shouted, still mortified by the blasted things Hermione had made them in Hogwarts.
The group burst into laughter at this.
"She actually made them for you?", Theo cried.
"Yeah, it spoke and everything!".
"Homework that is late will lead to a terrible fate!", Harry mimicked.
Draco and Blaise were nearly crying at this.
"And don't even get me started on our sixth year! She sent a flock a birds at me and had them almost skin me alive!".
The newly formed friends were in hysterics when Ron had finished speaking. They spent the next two hours reminiscing about old times, mostly about Sofia's time with Harry and Ron, before they said their goodbyes and everyone headed home.
The next morning came with sunshine as it filtered through the fresh summer air. It was with anticipation that Draco headed over to Zabini Manor, eager to get to Sofia and tell her the good news.
"Rise and shine, beautiful", Draco whispered as he gently shook Sofia awake.
"Hmmm, leave me alone", she mumbled as she hid under her purple pillow.
"Ok if you insist. I was going to take you out but if you'd rather sleep".
The reaction was one he expected, and a bit more.
"Wait! What? Out?!", Sofia exclaimed as she jumped from under the duvet.
"Yes, out", Draco replied with a smile.
"You mean I can actually move out of this bed and out of this room?!".
"Yes, now come-".
"YESSSSS! YES YES YES YES!", Sofia screamed as she jumped into Draco's arms, "I'm going out, I'm going out, I'm going out!", she sang, unable to contain her excitement.
Downstairs Seline, Andre and Blaise were sat in the lounge smiling at the comotion they could hear Sofia making.
"I take it Draco told her he's taking her out", Andre Zabini Smiled.
"Really, I would never have guessed so", Sofia's Mother replied sarcastically but on her face was a huge smile. She was glad her daughter was happy again.
"But where are we going?", Sofia asked Draco, jumping up like a little puppy.
"Out. Now, go and get ready and wear something nice", Draco smirked before he left the room and headed back downstairs.
"She wasn't too excited then", Seline smiled at Draco.
"You heard?", he laughed.
"The sound of happiness is never something to be frowned upon. No matter how 'hyper' it makes our daughter", Andre chuckled.
Draco was just about to speak when Sofia ran through the door.
"Mum, Dad, I'm going out!", Sofia announced.
"We know, sweetheart. Now, make sure you have a good time but be safe and if you start to feel run down you come straight home, do you hear me young lady?", her Mother warned.
"Yes, I promise! Now, where are we going?", Sofia asked Draco.
"All in good time. You ready?".
After giving her Mother and Father hugs and kisses goodbye, Sofia practically ran out of Zabini Manor, pulling Draco behind her.
"You know, that girl will never cease to amaze me", Andre smiled as he watched his daughter with love in his eyes from the window.
"She certainly is a character", Seline chuckled as she came to stand next to her husband.
"You can say that again! But she's our little character".
"Mmmm, our little Sofia".
Husband and wife stood at the window watching their treasured daughter until she and Draco disappeared from sight.
Well? I hope you all liked it! Of course I couldn't kill off Sofia but I hope I had you all in suspense, even if just a little bit! The next chapter follows straight on from Sofia and Draco leaving the house and it's one of my favourite chapters in this story so I really hope you enjoy it! Please let me know what you all think by leaving a review. I really do appreciate them and I always reply :)
Also, I of course do not own 'The Little Mermaid', it most definitely belongs to Walt Disney
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