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Old August 8th, 2009, 7:09 pm
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Re: Butterfly Kisses (Sequel to Harry Potter and the Return to Hogwarts)

Chapter 7
No Title



Author's Note: This chapter will be in multiple PoVs. Again, during Ginny's PoV, I will still refer to her parents as Mr. and Mrs. Weasley. There is no title for this chapter, cause I don't want no spoilers.


(Ginny's PoV)

Ginny's footsteps were heard as she hurried down the Burrow's large staircase. It was so early in the morning, that Ginny's mother hadn't even started on breakfast, and the Ministry owl which delivered the Daily Prophet hadn't arrived yet. When Ginny arrived, Mrs. Weasley was the only one in the kitchen.

“You're up early, Ginny,” Mrs. Weasley said, as she shuffled through the cupboards, looking for the right pan.

“Yeah,” Ginny said, “Um, Mum, is Frederique back?”

“He returned in the middle of the night,” Mrs. Weasley said, “Though he didn't have anything with him.”

Ginny frowned and sat at the table.

“Were you expecting something?” Mrs. Weasley asked.

“I thought Harry might write back,” Ginny said.

“It must have been kind of late when Frederique arrived at Harry's house,” Mrs. Weasley said, “Maybe he was just too tired to respond. Didn't Ron say that Harry had a new owl?”

“Yeah,” Ginny said, “Ares.”

“Well, maybe we'll see Ares today,” Mrs. Weasley said, smiling.

“Yeah,” Ginny said, “Maybe.”

Mrs. Weasley sighed and took out a large skillet from the cupboard then shut the door. She took her wand from her pocket and pointed it at the skillet. She muttered a few indistinct words and a flame under the pot turned on, then the pan started to rock back and forth. She then sat down beside Ginny.

“I know how you must be feeling, Ginny,” Mrs. Weasley said, “When I was first dating your father, there were many times which I didn't see him for a few days or so. I'd sit by the window, waiting for his owl. You remember that owl before we had Errol?”

Ginny remembered it vaguely. There had been a barn owl in the family before Errol, but it had died when Ginny was four.

“I'd wait for that darn owl to come to my window,” Mrs. Weasley said, smiling as she reminisced, “Sometimes it didn't come by for days. Other days, when it did come, sometimes your father's letters were so short, I'd send back the letter itself and your father thought the owl had gotten lost.”

Ginny grinned, even though she swore she had heard this story before. More footsteps were heard, and Mr. Weasley walked down the stairs and into the kitchen. He yawned and sat down at the table.

“Daily Prophet hasn't come yet?” he asked.

“Nope,” Mrs. Weasley said.

“I thought as much,” Mr. Weasley said nodding, “Rumor around the Ministry is that the Daily Prophet was making twice their normal number of copies. It's supposed to be a big edition.”

“Well, if you were yesterday afternoon,” Mrs. Weasley said, “You would know why.”

“What do you mean?” Mr. Weasley asked.

“Hermione got a job at the Ministry doing something for the Wizengamot,” Ginny said, “And apparently she was there for a big case. She's the new court respondent, and she wrote down the notes for the case and sent them to the Daily Prophet.”

“What was the case?” Mr. Weasley asked.

“You'll just have to wait for the Daily Prophet,” Mrs. Weasley said, grinning.

“Why were you at work so long anyway, Dad?” Ginny asked.

“Apparently your father's meeting with the Muggle Prime Minister went long,” Mrs. Weasley asked, “You should have heard him last night when he came back.”

“Well, it wouldn't have been that long if it hadn't started three hours late!” Mr. Weasley exclaimed.

“Here we go again,” Mrs. Weasley said.

She stood up and started on breakfast.

“He's obsessing over this bloody millennium party of his,” Mr. Weasley said, “I don't know why. It's still a little over four months away. When he's not in meetings with those Muggle policemen of his, he's in meetings with the presidents and CEO's of some of the big stores around London. He's been so busy, he forgot about me.”

“But I thought the Ministry usually altered his schedule if you had a meeting with him,” Ginny said.

“So did I!” Mr. Weasley said, “Apparently Kingsley forgot about it. He's so busy with something else these days. I just wish I knew what. So anyway, yeah, the meeting was three hours late, and if you believe it, the Muggle Prime Minister was so flustered, he didn't recognize me at first. He wondered how I gotten into the office, then yelled at his very confused secretary, asking if she saw me. I had to explain I came in through the fireplace. That took another ten minutes to explain, when I know very well that he knew exactly what I was talking about. Then it took another three hours, give or take thirty minutes, to convince him that there wasn't going to be any Dark magic or Death Eaters threatening his precious party. I wouldn't be surprised if I have to meet him five more times before the party just to convince him again.”

Suddenly a loud hoot was heard from somewhere outside the house.

“Is it Ares?” Ginny asked, jumping up from the table.

“Don't know what Ares looks like,” Mrs. Weasley said, looking out the window, “Oh, nope. It's the Ministry owl delivering the Daily Prophet.”

Ginny sighed and sat back down. The Ministry owl landed on the windowsill. Mrs. Weasley opened the window, took the paper, and dropped a sickle into the pouch in the owl's beak. The owl gave a muffled hoot of thanks and flew off. Mrs. Weasley walked over to the table and dropped the paper in front of Mr. Weasley. He opened the paper, to where the whole front page was showing. Ginny almost laughed at the large moving picture. Camera flashes lit up the large square as it showed Rita Skeeter turning into a beetle, then turning back into her normal self, over and over again. A smaller picture below that showed Rita being ushered toward a fireplace. Apparently, she was screaming something, though it was silent and indistinct. The large print over the picture read:


BEST-SELLING AUTHOR, RITA SKEETER, SENTENCED TO 3-5 YEARS IN AZKABAN;
NEW BOOK CANCELLED

Ginny and her father both read the article:

Early yesterday morning, celebrated best-selling author
was spotted in the Ministry of Magic. Where, you ask?
Well, Courtroom B.

Oh, she wasn't there getting the first scoop on a new case.
No, readers. She WAS the case. A court respondent


“That's Hermione,” Ginny said, “She was hoping they would keep her name anonymous.”

She continued reading:

was there, taking notes for the whole case. The notes
can be seen, in whole, in the court respondent's
own writing, all on page thirteen. Interesting tidbits
you'll notice is that Head Judge Morrison, who was
the judge in charge of the case took everything
into his own hands.

You'll also see that Rita Skeeter, who is usually known
for her calm, resolved manner, as seen in many of her
interviews (some of which can also be seen be seen on
page thirteen), was positively raving during the
hearing. She insulted the late, great Albus Dumbledore
(which readers will remember was the star of her first book)
as well as Bathilda Bagshot, who she had interviewed
for her first book. While there were rumors that Rita
may have been the reason Bathilda Bagshot is not
with us anymore, it wasn't heard from Rita herself.


“Looks like they didn't put everything in Hermione's notes in the Daily Prophet,” Ginny said, “I swear she said that Rita had said something about Bathilda Bagshot.”

“There are some things they can't put in the newspaper,” Mrs. Weasley said.

“Or won't put in, rather,” Mr. Weasley said.

Ginny continued to read:


Late in the hearing, Head Judge Morrison accused
Rita Skeeter that she was an unregistered Animagus.
While Rita Skeeter practically denied these accusations,
the Head Judge proved his theories and in the end,
it was proven that Rita Skeeter can, in fact, turn into
a beetle. Because she is unregistered (which is illegal,
readers), she was sentenced to 3-5 years in Azkaban.

Her new book about the Second War has been canceled.
No word on if Rita will publish the book when she is released.
Reactions from the fans of Rita's can be seen on page
fourteen.


“Well, Rita's misdeeds finally caught up with her,” Mr. Weasley said, when he finished.

“Did I hear Rita's name?” Hermione's voice said.

Ginny turned. Hermione and Ron walked in.

“The Daily Prophet came,” Ginny said, “You're a star, Hermione.”

“What?!” Hermione gasped, rushing over to the paper and looking at it, “I thought --”

“Don't worry,” Mr. Weasley said, “They didn't mention you by name.”

Hermione sighed, relieved.

“I don't know why,” Ron said, “If it was me, I would have begged them to put my name in.”

“You two are up early,” Mrs. Weasley said.

“We're meeting Harry before we have to go into work,” Ron said.

Ginny almost jumped out of her slippers.

“You're going to see Harry?” she asked, “Can I go?”

“Relax, Ginny,” Ron said, “We were going to ask you.”

“Mum?” Ginny asked, looking at her mother, “Can I --”

“Oh, go on,” Mrs. Weasley said, “But get dressed, of course. You can't go in your nighties!”

“Mum!” Ginny said, embarassed.

“Oh and please ask Harry what he wants for his birthday,” Mrs. Weasley said, “And if he wants a big party or not.”

“You know he never wants a big party, Mum,” Ron said.

Ginny hopped out of her chair, almost overturning it, and ran upstairs to get dressed.

------------------------------------

Ginny spent so long getting ready that, by the time she got back downstairs, Hermione and Ron were standing by the fireplace with Mrs. Weasley. Mrs. Weasley was holding the small bag of Floo Powder. She sighed as she looked in it.

“Looks like we're almost out again,” she said.

“Don't worry, Mum,” Ginny said as she walked over to the fireplace, “I'll get some.”

Mrs. Weasley chuckled.

“What am I going to do when you guys are gone?” she said, a small tear pooling in her eye.

Five minutes later, Ginny, Ron and Hermione were all safely in the Leaky Cauldron. Ginny almost squealed when she saw Harry sitting at one of the tables.

“Ginny!” Harry said, “What are you doing here?”

“I accidentally let it slip we were coming to have breakfast with you,” Ron said, as he and Hermione sat across from Harry.

“Why didn't you write back?” Ginny asked Harry, when she sat beside him.

Harry sighed, and Ginny noticed a delayed response.

“Harry?” Ginny asked.

“What's wrong?” Hermione asked.

“Let's just say,” Harry said, “That I had a very interesting day yesterday.”

“You talked to Kingsley?” Ron asked.

Harry nodded. Ginny listened as Harry told her, Ron and Hermione about what had happened yesterday. He was in the middle of his story when Tom came by.

“Well, the whole gang's here!” he said, “What can I get you today?”

“Four specials, Tom,” Harry said, “I'm buying.”

“Coming up,” Tom said.

He walked away from the table.

“Okay,” Harry said, “Where was I?”

“You were at the part where you went over to Thorpe's house,” Ron said.

“Oh yeah,” Harry said, “Well, I went over to Thorpe's house to try to get him to come back into Auror training. When he answered the door, I could tell he was drunk on firewhiskey.”

“See, Ron,” Hermione said, “That is why I don't want you to drink that stuff.”

“Anyway,” Harry pressed on, “We got to talking, and...”

Ginny noticed a pause in Harry's story.

“What's wrong, Harry?” she asked.

“Ron,” he said, “You remember that final battle at the Death Eater's hideout, right?”

“How could I forget?” Ron asked, “What does this have to do with Thorpe?”

“Thorpe's father was one of the Azkaban escapees who were fighting there,” Harry said.

“Oh,” Ron said.

“There's more,” Harry said, quietly, “Thorpe's father was in one of the rooms at the top of the house when you were fighting Greyback.”

“Wait,” Ron said, “You're not saying --”

“When the roof caved in,” Harry said, “Thorpe's father got killed in the process.”

Hermione covered her mouth with her hand. Ron just looked shocked.

“So,” Ron said, “So I – you're saying – I might have killed Thorpe's father?”

“Ron,” Hermione said, “You said it was Greyback's spell that brought down the roof.”

“What if I'm wrong?” Ron asked, “I mean, I was sending all kinds of spells at Greyback. Besides, if you remember, I ended up in a coma. Maybe I forgot about some of the stuff that happened.”

“You couldn't have known,” Hermione said, “And even if you did, Thorpe's father was one of the bad guys.”

“Thorpe wouldn't see that,” Ron said.

“There's more,” Harry said.

Ginny, Ron and Hermione looked at him.

“Thorpe's mother was a Muggle,” Harry continued, “She was in a car accident a few years ago. Well, apparently the accident was investigated by the Ministry. Ron, the car was a Muggle object. So would that mean that it would have been sent to --”

“Dad's department,” Ginny said, “Dad would have still been part of it, and of course he would have wanted to look over the car. Just because it's a Muggle contraption.”

“What's this about, Harry?” Hermione asked.

“The reason Thorpe's father was sent to Azkaban,” Harry said, “was because he was accused of killing Thorpe's mother.”

“But you said she died in a car accident,” Ginny said.

“Apparently the car had been tampered with magically,” Harry said, “Well, if that's the case, your father would have been the one to discover that. Did your father ever talk about, perhaps, a hearing or something he would have been a part of?”

“He was in all kinds of hearings,” Ron said, “Most of them were for toilets that had gone mental or shoes that bit the feet of its victims. Stuff Fred and George would have thought to be hysterical.”

“Thorpe says that his father was wrongfully charged with a crime,” Harry said, “And he thought that whatever sent his father to prison happened because of that car. He thought it would have been a mistake on part of the person looking over the car – your father.”

Ron and Ginny looked shocked.

“Thorpe could have been wrong, Harry,” Hermione said.

“I see what you're saying, Harry,” Ron said, “Even if Thorpe was wrong, he would have thought he was right. And if he discovered who was behind it, he would have been furious.”

“When I was talking to Kingsley yesterday,” Harry said, “He told me that he had to let Thorpe go, because his father was working with the Death Eaters. I think he didn't tell me everything. I think he knew that if Thorpe ever found out, he would want his revenge. For the death of his father, and the original reason his father was in Azkaban in the first place.”

“I see,” Ron said, “Even though I wasn't the one to do it, I would have been connected to both of those.”

“Ron,” Hermione said.

“It's funny,” Ron said, “Yesterday I was actually thinking it would be a good thing if Thorpe was let back into the Aurors.”

“I don't think there is anything to worry about, Ron,” Hermione said, “I mean... Harry, didn't you say that they weren't going to let Thorpe back into the Ministry?”

Harry nodded.

“And then you have to remember,” Hermione said to Ron, “that Thorpe doesn't even know who is responsible for any of it.”

Ron nodded, though he still looked unsure. Tom came back over and served their plates. When everyone thanked him, he went back to the bar. Ginny noticed that Ron, who usually dug right into his food, was only playing with it.

“So, Ron,” Harry said, trying to change the subject, “Hermione said in her letter that you wanted to be the one to tell me about the house?”

Ron shrugged.

“It's great,” he simply said.

“Yeah?” Harry asked.

Hermione looked at Ron. She shook her head and looked at Harry.

“It's better than great,” she said, “I mean, of course it's only one bedroom, but the house is only temporary. But even then, its pretty nice. The real estate agent knew my parents too. He's one of their patients. I need to write to them today. Forgot to do it yesterday. Anyway, yeah, the agent said that the furniture comes with the house. The company who owns the furniture is a partner of the agency. So we don't have to worry about that.”

She looked back at Ron, expecting him to say something about the house. When he didn't, she turned back to Harry.

“So have you read the Daily Prophet today?” she asked him.

“Not yet,” Harry said, “But I swear, every time I turn around, someone is reading one. Did I see Rita Skeeter's face on the front page?”

“Yeah,” Hermione said, “But my notes are on page thirteen, I think. Well, most of them. They didn't put all of them in like the guy I talked to promised. Apparently they didn't want the public to know what had happened to Bathilda Bagshot. I was beginning to wonder if Morrison was bringing up more charges on Rita for that, so maybe he didn't want the public to know about it. I need to ask him. Harry? Something wrong?”

Ginny looked up from her food, and noticed that Harry was staring past her. Ginny turned around. She immediately saw what Harry saw. Draco Malfoy was walking through the Leaky Cauldron, towards Diagon Alley. He wasn't alone. A girl Ginny vaguely recognized was walking with him.

“Who's that?” Harry asked, nodding to the girl.

“Astoria Greengrass,” Hermione said, “Her sister, Daphne, was in our year.”

“What's she doing with Draco?” Harry asked.

“I think I know,” Hermione said, grinning.

“What do you mean?” Harry asked.

“Isn't it obvious?” Hermione asked, grinning, “They're dating, Harry!”

Ginny laughed.

“Oh, come on now!” Hermione said, “It isn't that surprising. Malfoy can date too.”

“How old is Astoria?” Harry said.

“I think she was a couple years younger than Daphne,” Hermione said, “So she's probably about to be in her seventh year.”

“I thought Draco was with Pansy Parkinson,” Ginny said.

“Pansy broke it off with Draco,” Hermione said, “When he wouldn't pay attention to her in sixth year. I mean, your fifth year, Ginny.”

“Oh yeah,” Ginny said.

“Well, I will say Astoria's much prettier than Pansy,” Harry said.

Ginny smacked him playfully on the shoulder.

“Ow, what?” he said, laughing.

“I heard that,” Ginny said.

“Oh come now,” Harry said, “Your leagues prettier than Astoria. I'm just saying she's prettier than Pansy.”

“Well, that isn't very hard to do, is it?” Ron said.

“Finally caught up, have you?” Hermione asked him.

“Yeah, yeah,” Ron said.

“Well, I think it is nice that Draco's found someone to be with,” Hermione said, starting on her breakfast, “especially if it will help him forget about everything that's happened to him.”

“I wonder how Lucius and Narcissa are doing anyway,” Harry said, “Haven't heard from them much since they got their pardon, have we?”

Ginny shook her head and started on her breakfast.

-------------------------------------------

(Draco's POV)

“Oh, it's finally looking so lovely here again, Draco,” Astoria said, as she and Draco walked down the cobbled pavement of Diagon Alley, “Remember how gloomy it looked not long ago?”

“Yeah, whatever,” Draco said, “How long are we going to be, anyway?”

“Oh, don't start it,” Astoria said, “I could spend all day here with you.”

Draco rolled his eyes at the way Astoria had said “with you”.

“Would you keep it down?” Draco muttered, “Bloody hell.”

He was fully aware that he had seen Harry Potter and his little group of friends in the Leaky Cauldron. He couldn't bear to think what they would say if they knew he was dating Astoria Greengrass. Though, it was very rare that he referred to it as dating.

Even though he had known Astoria for almost seven years, he hadn't paid much attention to her until his final year at Hogwarts, in which he had only returned because he was forced to, along with his father who had become a temporary professor for Defense Against the Dark Arts. His father was forced into the job by the Minister of Magic. Of course, his father was now done with that job, and ever since then, he rarely left the Manor these days.

Oh, any one of Draco's friends could have told you that he was actually much more fond of Astoria Greengrass then he let on. In fact, if it hadn't been for Pansy Parkinson, he might have started dating Astoria back in his days at Hogwarts, even if she was a couple years younger than him.

Astoria was quite beautiful, in his opinion. Her long blonde hair reminded Draco of a veela, though Astoria told him there was no trace of veela in her family. Astoria was pale, and she sort of reminded Draco of his mother. The only thing that might have been wrong with Astoria (well, enough to the point that he told his friends it was a turn-off) was that even though she was a Slytherin, she never acted like your normal Slytherin. She was very cheery. Almost to the point of annoyance.

The best thing about Astoria, though, was that being with her made Draco forget of his days of isolation in the safe-house, and the days when he and his parents had been captured by the Death Eaters. He used to have bad nightmares of that isolation, and rogue Death Eaters that would come and take him away. And bad nightmares of where they finally succeeded. Whenever Astoria asked him about those days, he either yelled at her and told her to forget it, or went deathly quiet.

“So, Draco,” Astoria said, batting her eyelashes at him, “What do you want to do?”

“What?” Draco asked, “I thought we were here to do your Hogwarts shopping?”

“Oh, that can wait,” Astoria said, “Besides, that was just an excuse to be with you. You know we only have a little over a month before I have to go back to Hogwarts? Then I won't get to see you for a while.”

She got closer to him and wrapped her arms around him. Draco looked around to make sure nobody was looking. He would probably die of embarrassment right then and there if they were.

“You will miss me, right?” Astoria asked.

“Yeah, of course,” Draco said, almost mechanically.

“You aren't going to cheat on me, are you?” Astoria said, pouting, “You know Daphne's friends with Pansy Parkinson, right? Daphne told me that Pansy's talking about you again. Apparently she misses you.”

Astoria scoffed in disgust.

“Draco,” she said, “I don't know what I'd do if I found out you left me for her.”

“I wouldn't do that,” Draco said.

Which was the honest truth. He wanted nothing more to do with Pansy Parkinson.

“Oh yeah?” Astoria said, “Prove it to me.”

Astoria backed away. She forced off a ring from her finger and showed it to Draco.

“Mum gave me it,” Astoria said, “She says it's a promise ring that Daddy gave her back when they were first dating. Supposed to have magical powers. Draco, I want you to wear it.”

“What's it do?” Draco asked.

“Nothing,” Astoria said, “Honestly.”

“I don't know,” Draco said.

“You don't want to wear it?” Astoria said, pouting.

Draco sighed.

“Oh, fine,” Draco said, “Give it to me.”

“I have to put it on your finger,” Astoria said, “Otherwise it's worthless.”

“You just said it does nothing!” Draco said.

“It's just the magic of the ring. Besides,” Astoria said, looking right into Draco's eyes, “It's romantic.”

Draco did his best to not roll his eyes. Astoria put the ring on Draco's finger.

“You do love me, right?” she asked him.

“Yeah, of course,” Draco said.

“Say it,” Astoria said, “Draco, I want you to say it.”

Draco scowled under his breath. Astoria looked into his eyes. He stared at her eyes, so beautiful, so mesmerizing, he was almost lost in them.

“I love you,” he said.

Astoria grinned.

“I love you too, Draco,” she said.

She kissed him, and he felt his face go hot. Though at the moment, he didn't know if it was embarrassment that it was in public, or if it was because of his feelings for her.

-------------------------------------------------

A/N: Whew! Another chapter done. Well, I was looking for a way to put Draco into this story, just cause I know I got a lot of response for how well I handled his character in the prequel to this story. Oh, and if your vision of Astoria is completely different than how I wrote her, I'm sorry. I just love the way I wrote her. I might put Lucius and Narcissa in the story somehow. I have ideas, but I don't know if it will work.

Time-line wise, there is still a couple weeks until Harry's birthday, which I can't wait for, but I should with a couple more chapters or so. We'll just see where it goes.

I love reading your feedback, cause it helps me with my story. So, as always, it would be wonderful to see it again.


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