Questions and Answers


Story Summary:
What happens when the past collides with the present and threatens to cast the Potters' and Weasleys' lives into disarray...

Chapter 70 - A Fun Souvenir


Draco turned his head to peer at the window. Light was beginning to spill over the windowsill into the bedroom. 'What time is it?'

Daphne squinted at the alarm clock. 'About seven,' she murmured.

'I should go back to my bedroom' Draco sighed. 'Before Scorpius wakes up.'


Draco shook his head slightly. 'I don't think he would take it very well, if he saw me leaving your bedroom.' When Daphne gave him a dubious look, he continued, 'He'll probably think the worst of me and assume I've assaulted you, or something like that.'

'It wouldn't hurt if you tried to make amends with him, too...' Daphne said softly.

'He doesn't need me,' Draco countered. 'He doesn't need my past hanging over him.'

'Perhaps, someday -' Daphne began.

'Why is it so important to you?'

Daphne sat up, pushing the sleeves of her nightdress past her elbows. 'Have you any idea what the past three years have been like for me? No, not just the past three... The past fourteen?' She kept talking, running over any response Draco might have had. 'It's been hell,' she said bluntly. 'All he's ever wanted is to know you do, in fact, love him, and all right, fine, until he started school, maybe you were more than a bit distant, but at least the two of you spoke to one another at meals. But ever since he started school, and got Sorted into a different House, it's taken you nearly all this time to get your pants out of a twist over it.'

Draco's brows rose over the vehemence of his wife's reply.

'And you... You're not entirely unlikeable. You've started trying to turn things around for yourself and where does that leave me? I'll tell you where... In the middle. He's already anxious to spend as little time here or at your mother's during the holidays as possible. And as much as I'd like to see where this... thing... with you goes, I don't want to do it at the expense of my - our - son.'

'Keep shouting like that and you'll wake him up,' Draco commented idly, pushing himself up against he headboard. 'Where do you want this to go?' he demanded. 'You spend half the night getting off with me until I can't see straight, and you're doing it for what? For laughs? Idle curiosity?'

'This is what people do when they date each other,' Daphne said calmly.

'They do?'


Draco's eyes grew wider and he gaped at her for a long moment. 'Who in their right mind would do this to himself?' he exclaimed. 'It's madness...'

'Well, they generally tend not to do this in their nightclothes or in a bed,' Daphne said defensively.

'Right. Like having more clothing on makes it better,' Draco muttered.

'I thought you liked it...'

Draco dragged a hand over his face in frustration. 'Liking it isn't the problem.' He heaved a sigh and pushed the duvet back. 'I liked kissing you. I liked it too much...' Daphne opened her mouth to argue, but Draco laid a hand over it. 'Let me finish.' He inhaled strongly through his nose and let his hand drop away from Daphne's mouth. 'I respect the boundaries you set last night. That we should at least be on friendly terms with each other before we try adding all the complications inherent in sex to the exceedingly large tangled mess that is our marriage. You could wear a marquee for all that I care, and I'd still find you... Attractive,' he admitted. 'That being said, I would also very much like to see just how much I do like you as well before attempting anything that intimate.' He swung his feet to the floor and sat on the edge of Daphne's bed, facing away from her. 'Just be honest with me... Are you doing this because you think we've got a chance, no matter how small, or because you're toying with me in some sick sort of game?' He sat rigidly until he felt Daphne's arms encircle his chest, and her cheek rested against his back.

'I'm not playing games with you,' she told him. 'I'm not sure how much of a chance we've got, but I do think it's worth our time to try and find out. But I'm not playing games with you.'

'Fair enough...' Draco gently squeezed one of Daphne's hands and stood. 'I'll see you at breakfast, then.'


'Who the bloody hell are you?' Ron blurted.

Arthur opened his mouth to reply, but Molly's voice slid into the stillness. 'This is your cousin, Benjamin. Your uncle Fabian's boy,' she added softly.


Charlie poked Bill in the shoulder. 'I don't remember Uncle Fabian having a kid,' he whispered.

'I don't either,' Bill muttered. He pierced Benjamin with an intense look. 'Was your mum from around here?'

'She was an old friend of Fabian's,' Arthur replied smoothly. 'Moved abroad after Fabian died to go live with family,' he added, shaking his head slightly when Benjamin frowned.

'Makes sense.' George examined Benjamin, his head tilted to one side. 'Looks like one of us,' he pronounced, slapping Ron on the back. 'Got your nose, eh?'

Ron frowned and rubbed the bridge of his nose. 'That doesn't prove anything.'

'Oh, honestly,' Hermione huffed. 'He looks just like that photograph of your uncles with all of you on the staircase.' She edged around Ron and extended her hand to Benjamin. 'I'm Hermione,' she said. 'And I'm married to the daft git behind me.'

'Hey!' Ron protested. 'I resent that!'

'Which part?' Harry sniggered. 'Daft or git?'

Molly sighed and sent a stack of plates around the table, each one peeling off the top and settling in its place with a soft thump. 'Don't mind them,' she told Benjamin. 'They've only been doing that since they were eleven.'

Percy pulled out a chair and dropped into it, propping his chin in his hands. 'How do we know he's Uncle Fabian's?' he asked. 'He could be Uncle Gideon's. Identical twins, you know...'

Benjamin's widened in surprise as the turquoise-haired young man's head turned orange so quickly, it looked as if it might be on fire. Teddy... he told himself. The one who can change the way he looks...Teddy began coughing so hard, Harry helpfully pounded him on the back, until Teddy waved him off.

'Gerroff...' he croaked. 'I'm all right...' He straightened, tears streaming down his reddened cheeks.

'All right?' Harry asked.

'Yeah... it's just...' Teddy scrubbed his hands over his face. 'Dad said that Sirius and...' He bit off the end of the sentence and stole a look at Molly, then glanced hastily down at his shoes. 'Nothing...'

Ron perked up. 'What about Sirius? He knew Uncle Fabian and Gideon?'

Teddy shuffled his feet uncomfortably. 'You could say that. Especially Gideon...' he murmured. He turned to Harry and Ginny. 'Bob and Ted said to tell you hello, by the way...'

'Oooh. How are Bob and Ted?' Ginny asked brightly with a fond smile.

'Ted's been ill, but he's getting better,' Teddy replied, relieved that the conversation had turned to more comfortable territory. 'Bob says you need to come down for tea and bring photos of the children.'

'Mind you look in on Ted,' Harry said. 'He changed more than a few of your nappies.'

Bill shook his head. 'So... hang on a mo... How can we be sure he's Fabian's son?'

Harry took his usual seat and leaned closer to Benjamin. 'Don't take it personally,' he murmured. 'They mean well...'

Benjamin grinned. 'I'm not. Can't really blame them. Besides, it's kinda entertaining.'

Arthur heaved a sigh and sat back in his chair. 'Your Uncle Gideon didn't fancy women,' he said evenly.

Bill's mouth opened, but he merely nodded. 'Oh... I see...'

'My best friend at Salem performs as a drag queen in a cabaret in San Francisco,' Benjamin blurted. 'He's pretty well-known in the magical community on the west coast, too. And he's my kids' godfather.'

'Which cabaret?' Ginny asked, dropping into the chair next to Harry.

'Uh... "The Weathergirls".' Benjamin felt the back of his neck grow warm, and the pulled at his collar.

'We've been there!' Ginny exclaimed. 'Last month, actually. It was marvelous fun. Which one is your friend?'

Benjamin glanced at the group of children clustered in the doorway and leaned closer to Ginny. 'Paula Dancer...' He sat back. 'His real name's Gene Katzenbach.'

Ron glanced at Harry, then Ginny, his eyes narrowing. They're not surprised, he thought. Interesting.

'You play Quidditch?' Charlie asked Benjamin gruffly.

'Is that all you ever think about?' Bronwyn chided, with no real heat.

'No,' Charlie said mildly. 'I can give you a more detailed list later, if you like. I'll even illustrate it.'

'You draw?' Benjamin said suddenly to Charlie.

'Yeah. Charcoal, mostly. Sometimes pastels.'

'So that's where in comes from,' Benjamin murmured in wonder. 'Mom can hardly draw stick figures...'

Molly directed several roast chickens to the table. 'Actually, it was my mother,' she informed her son and nephew. 'Fabian's penmanship was horribly illegible and his attempts at artwork were bad enough that they were only fit to line the owl perch. Gideon was the artist between the two of them. He's the one that added Bill to the family tree. Did all of the children. Most beautiful calligraphy you've ever seen...' She quickly added bowls of peas, mashed potatoes, and sprouts. 'Now then... lunch is ready.' She turned to her sons, wiping her hands on her apron. 'You're to let Benjamin eat his meal in peace and not pepper him with a load of questions,' she ordered.

'Yes, Mum,' they murmured dutifully, filing to their places.


Benjamin gazed in dismay at his plate as Molly piled yet another helping on it. 'Does she always do that?' he asked Harry.

Harry nodded in sympathy. 'Yeah.'

'Are you going to eat that?' James asked, nodding toward Benjamin's untouched third helping of chicken.

'It's all yours,' Benjamin said, pushing his plate toward James.

Ginny's brow rose in disbelief as James tore into the chicken leg. 'Where are you putting it all?' she asked, poking her oldest son in the ribs.

James barely remembered to swallow before he replied. 'Hungry.'

'You're always hungry,' Lily huffed scornfully. 'How on earth do you sleep through the night without a snack, I'll never know.' James shot her a filthy look, but continued to stolidly munch his way through the rest of his meal.

'Jacob Weasley, put that sprout down your sister's shirt and you'll spend your holiday cleaning the house without magic,' Katie said suddenly. 'The shop, too.'

Jacob froze, his hand clenched around a sprout, hovering just behind Sophie's head. 'How did you see that? You weren't even looking.'

'It's called being a mum,' George chuckled. 'Can't get away with anything around a mum.'

Katie flicked Jacob's ear. 'Put that poor sprout down. And leave Sophie alone.' She looked down the table at Benjamin. 'It's a lot to take in, isn't it? I remember when George and I first started dating, and I thought it was a madhouse with just us adults and Teddy. Then for some reason unknown to man, we started having children of our own.'

'Oh, this is nothing,' Teddy called from where he sat next to Victoire. 'How many people were here for Molly and Arthur's anniversary party last summer?'

'Oh, dozens,' Hermione said cheerfully. 'And how many are you planning on inviting to your wedding?'

'You're getting married?' Benjamin said to Teddy.

'In three years,' Teddy said, smiling shyly. 'Vic and I.'

Molly rose from her chair and slipped into the scullery. 'Parker, I've got something for you. Thought I'd give it to you before I serve pudding...'

Benjamin glanced at the pan of apple crumble on the counter behind him in bemusement. 'That's not pudding...'

'Well, there's pudding, like rice pudding,' Ron explained. 'And black pudding, although I don't think you want to know how that's made... Bill likes it though. Must have been dropped on his head as a baby. And then there's what you eat after dinner. Cakes, pies, crumbles - desserts.' He craned his head to see around Benjamin. 'I think Mum's even made spotted dick--' he added gleefully.

Benjamin's eyes widened, and his hand convulsed around the glass he held to his lips, inhaling water. He began to cough and splutter. 'She's made what?'

'Spotted dick,' Ron repeated.

'How is that a dessert?' Benjamin asked, aghast. 'It sounds like a disease!'

Bronwyn began to laugh. 'Sorry...' she gasped. 'I'm not laughing at you...'

'Just laughing in his direction?' Charlie murmured, shaking his head.

'No... It's just... He's right. It does sound like a disease you'd post warnings about in Knockturn Alley.'

Ginny took pity on Benjamin. 'It's sort of like a cake with currants and raisins baked in. You ladle custard all over it when you eat it.'

'Doesn't resemble a willie at all,' Harry chimed in. 'At least none that I've ever seen.'

'Here we are!' Molly sailed into the kitchen with a gaily-wrapped parcel. 'So you can look smart when you start your studies.'

Parker's face fell slightly. 'Erm, Grandmum...'

'Parker's taking a year off,' Percy said. It had the effect of putting a Silencing charm on the kitchen.

'Blimey,' Hermione murmured into the stillness.

'Oh, now you have been married to Ron too long,' Ginny whispered to her.

'Bound to happen eventually,' Hermione countered.


'Did I hear that right?' Arthur asked Percy, his face a curious mixture of pride and sadness.

'Yes.' Percy pulled off his glasses and began to carefully polish the lenses with a handkerchief. 'We had a lovely chat about it the other night.'

'I'm still taking my N.E.W.T.s,' Parker added. 'And in a year or so, I'll see what I want to do.' He looked down at his plate. 'I could do with a bit of a break, that's all.'

'Well, that's fine, then,' Arthur said to Parker, reaching up to pat Molly's hand that gripped his shoulder. 'Sounds as if you've got it all figured out.' It was a signal for the ripples of conversation to continue. 'What do you think you might do?'

'I don't know yet,' Parker admitted sheepishly. 'It sounds like a pathetic cliché, but I'd like to travel a bit...'

'If you come to California, you can stay with us, if you want,' Benjamin offered. 'My mom's usually got an extra room available.'

'I don't...' Percy began, but Parker's eager cry cut him off.

'Really? That would be brilliant!'

'My daughter's elementary school's always looking for volunteers,' Benjamin said.

'Is it a Muggle school?' Parker asked.

'No. It's all magical. They don't really learn much about it until they start at Salem, but it's a lot easier to handle the accidental magic if everyone knows what it is. Cuts down on the need to send an Obliviator to the schools.'

'Makes sense,' Charlie muttered.

'Who wants pudding? Benjamin?' Molly asked.

'I think I'll stick to the apple crumble,' Benjamin said, eyeing the spotted dick warily.


Ron directed his broom toward the oak tree in the paddock that served as a goalpost for their after-lunch Quidditch game. Harry was already there, feet swinging idly as he waited for Al and Maddie to finish choosing their teams. Ron came to a stop next to Harry and aped his casual, relaxed pose. 'You knew, didn't you?' Ron said, matter-of-factly.

Harry nodded. 'Yeah.' He turned slightly to look at Ron. 'How'd you know?'

Ron smirked. 'I've known you for how long now? I've seen you in more touchy situations than most, I reckon. And out of all of us, you and Gin were the least surprised.' Ron inhaled slowly as a fragment of conversation settled into place, completing the puzzle. 'That's why the two of you went to America,' he breathed. 'But why? It's not as if any of us knew about him.'

Harry leaned forward easily on his broom, elbows resting on the handle. 'No use keeping it secret now, is it?' he muttered. 'It was for a case. Narcissa asked me to look for someone... Lucius' sister. Turns out, the sister - Lavinia - is Benjamin's mum.'

Ron stared at Harry then dissolved into whoops of laughter. 'Oh, that's rich!' he gasped. 'The pure-blood and the blood-traitor? It's almost as bad as one of Gin's God-awful novels... And I don't remember Malfoy having an aunt on his father's side of the family.'

'Not many people did,' Harry informed him. 'She ran away after Fabian died, and when she was gone, people didn't talk about her and they sort of forgot her. Out of sight, out of mind.'

Ron's face lit up in anticipation. 'Oh, please tell me you're going to introduce him to Malfoy!' A beatific smile curved his lips. 'I can just picture his face when you tell him he's related to a large group of blood-traitors...' The light grew slightly mischievous. 'Can I watch? Under the Invisibility cloak? Please?'

Harry shook his head. 'You're a nutter. Did you know that? A sick, twisted nutter.'

Ron smiled widely, taking no offense. 'As are you.'

Harry sat up, tucking his feet behind him on the footrests. 'Yes. Yes I am.'

'I do believe that's why we're mates,' Ron said.

'I do believe I agree,' Harry replied, shading his eyes with a hand. Al and Maddie broke apart, mounting their brooms. 'Looks like they're done. Ready to get creamed by your best mate?'

'Only if you're ready to get creamed by yours,' Ron retorted, slapping Harry on the back. 'Try not to fall off your broom. I'd hate to see you bloody up that pretty face of yours!'

'Right. And the Keeper's supposed to block the goals, not create acrobatic routines,' Harry scoffed good-naturedly.

'Git.' Ron chuckled.

'Wanker,' Harry snickered.

'Drinks are on you if we win,' Ron called, as Harry began to fly away.

'Which won't happen, so I hope you've brought some Galleons with you!'

As the game commenced, Harry's mind turned to Narcissa. Benjamin had said his mother had traveled with him as far as London. He wondered if Lavinia had managed to make her way to Nice.


Scorpius shuffled toward the staircase, yawning widely. At times like these he almost envied Al and his ability to have a lie-in the moment a holiday started. He, on the other hand, was almost programmed to wake up at the same time each morning, whether he had to or not. It was frightfully annoying. He thought longingly of a cup of hot chocolate and large bowl of porridge. That might help him make it through until the regular family breakfast. Lately it seemed as if he was always hungry, and a good inch of his socks could be seen under the hem of his trousers at school. He'd have to see about either getting a couple of new pairs of trousers for his uniform or asking if Perri could let out the ones he had. He preferred the latter. Scorpius hated shopping for clothes, but Daphne insisted on making him try them on. I'd rather kiss a gnome than try on trousers, he mused. Standing in the cubicle in my pants, shivering while Mother makes me try on pair after pair of trousers... So wrapped up was he in thoughts of what he'd rather do than trudge through a shop with his mother, while he pushed open the swinging kitchen door, it took him a moment to process what he saw.

Daphne stood with the small of her back pressed against the edge of the counter, arms wrapped around a man. They stood directly in front of the window, so the rising sun silhouetted them. He had one arm wrapped around Daphne's waist, and the other hand cupped around the back of her head, his lips tracing over the edge of her ear, before brushing over her mouth.

The clouds shifted, blocking the sun a little, and Scorpius blinked to clear his vision. The man's features cleared and Scorpius felt his mouth drop open in shock.

It was his father.

He let his arm drop, and the door swung shut, obliterating the inconceivable sight of his parents kissing each other and rubbed his eyes. Scorpius nibbled a thumbnail. He'd seen Harry and Ginny kiss before, and occasionally Neville and Hannah. But even in those glimpses, he seen the depth of emotion they carried. He eased the door open a mere crack and peeked through it. Draco's forehead rested against Daphne's, while his fingertips trailed down the side of her face. Scorpius carefully let the door close, then backed away slowly until he was several feet away from the door.

He did what any reasonable thirteen-year old boy would do.

Scorpius fled back to his bedroom, trying to erase the memory of watching his parents behave as if they actually fancied each other.