A Marriage Most Convenient

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Chapter 24: A Lighter Chapter, if you Please, with Kevin and Retribution

"It was, perhaps, one of those cases in which advice is good or bad only as the event decides." – Jane Austen

If I kill someone for the greater good, is it really wrong? I don’t believe so, but I’ll let you all decide.” – Draco Malfoy

In the end, the decisions we make, be them right or wrong, will shape the human beings that we become. This means we will be judged as either a good person or a bad person. It’s up to us.” – Hermione Granger


Harry Potter walked into the large, strange home, through the floo in a dark room he assumed was a library. He dusted off his shirt and trousers and then asked the wizard who met him, “Where are they?”

“This way, Mr. Potter.”

Harry was shown into a very large, formal parlor. He felt the tension in the air the moment he stepped into the room. On one sofa, in the middle of the room, was Hermione with a sleeping Alice on her lap. On the sofa across from her sat Narcissa Malfoy and Hermione’s nanny, Ingrid. He was about to ask Hermione where Malfoy was when he looked at a chair in the corner of the room. In the large, crimson, wingback chair sat Hermione’s ex-husband, Kevin McKenzie, with Draco Malfoy on one side, and Lucius Malfoy on the other.

Both Malfoy men had their wands out, Draco twirling his like a baton, as if he had no care in the world. The only thing that relayed his true emotions was that his face seemed set in stone.

On the other side of the chair, Lucius Malfoy held his wand tightly in his hand. The wand was pointed toward the floor, but it was shaking slightly, as if it was ‘itching’ to be used in some dastardly way.

“Okay, I’m here, can someone please explain to me why I’m here?” Harry asked. He looked from Malfoy to Hermione.

“That depends on who you ask,” Draco said steadily.

“It’s whom, Son,” Lucius corrected.

“So sorry, Father. Potter, it depends upon whom you ask,” Draco spat. “If you asked me, I would tell you one thing. If you asked Hermione, she would say that you were asked here to prevent a murder.”

“Who’s going to be murdered?” Harry asked, suddenly very serious.

“This bastard right here,” Draco said, his wand no longer twirling. He pointed his wand to the man in the chair.

“Might I interject?” Kevin asked.

Draco took his wand and hit the man hard on the head with it before he said, “Did I give you permission to speak? I don’t think so, so be quiet.” Kevin moaned, and held his head with his hands.

Harry sighed and said, “And I suppose you’re the murderer?” He looked at Draco.

“Oh no, not particularly,” Draco said, somewhat lightly. “Really, my father, my mother and I are all angling for that prestigious honour.”

Harry turned his head toward the sofas and Narcissa held up her wand and smiled to show that she was ready and able. He looked at Hermione and quizzed, “Are you up for the position as well?”

“No, I don’t want to murder anyone Harry,” she said lightly. “I want to merely castrate him.”

Harry pulled off his glasses, rubbed the bridge of his nose, and pushed them back into place. He turned back to Draco and said, “You said that Hermione wanted me called to prevent a murder. Why did you want me called?”

“I wanted you called because I thought once I killed the man, he would be little more than rubbish, and who better to take out the rubbish than Harry Potter?” Draco smiled at Harry and then looked down at Kevin and pointed out, “That would make you the rubbish, McKenzie. The dead rubbish.”

Harry groaned and let out a breath. “Did anyone else have a better reason for calling me?”

This time Ingrid held up her hand. Harry turned to the older woman and said, “Yes, Mrs. McKenzie, why did you want me called?”

“Well, I wanted to call you before any of the rest of them wanted to call you, because I wanted to report a kidnapping, Mr. Potter.”

Harry walked over to the sofa, sat on the arm, and looked down at the older lady. “Who was kidnapped?”

“It’s ‘whom’ Potter!” Draco barked from the corner. He looked at his father and said, “Seriously, you can take the man out of the cupboard, but you can’t take the cupboard out of the man.”

“It is ‘who’ in this case, Draco,” Hermione interrupted, “and your statement about the cupboard made no sense.”

“Are we going to argue again, because I’d really rather not,” Draco said. “We already argued on whether or not to kill this bastard here.”

Kevin raised his hand again and said, “Mr. Potter, would you mind taking me out of here, alive, even if you have to arrest me first? This whole group is barking mad.”

This time Lucius smacked his wand against the man’s shins and as he moaned in pain Lucius snapped, “I thought my son told you to be quiet.”

“WHO WAS KIDNAPPED?” Harry bellowed, as he stood from the arm of the sofa.

Little Alice rubbed her eyes as she woke from her nap on her mother’s lap. Hermione gave Harry a reproachful look, but Alice looked happy to see him. She held up her arms and said, “Uncle Harry!”

Harry walked over to her and picked her up. “Hello, sweetie.”

“Is Auntie Ginny, James and baby Hugo with you?” she asked.

He put her on his hip, carried her to the French doors that looked out of the patio and said, “Not this time. Alice, can you tell me what your Daddy is doing here?”

“Which Daddy?” she asked.

Harry looked at Hermione and raised his eyebrows. She gave him a ‘don’t go there’ glare back. Harry put Alice on the ground, got down on his knees and said, “What have you been doing today, Alice?”

“I went on the ponies with Grandfather, and then I went on a picnic with Ingrid, Mummy and my real Daddy, Draco. We picked daisies. I could probably give you one, but I would have to take one from someone else to do that. Do you really want a flower, Uncle Harry?”

“No, that’s okay,” he said, smiling. “What did you do then?”

“I don’t know,” she said, frowning. “I think my tummy hurt, and I took a nap, and when I woke up, Mummy and Daddy Draco were gone, and then Daddy Kevin was there, and I hadn’t seen him for a long time, and he took my hand, and he apparated with me to the village, and that made my stomach hurt more, and I vomited.”

She looked at Hermione and said, “I don’t like to apparate, do I, Mummy?” Hermione smiled and shook her head. Alice said, “Then Daddy took me to a candy store, and then I asked him to take me home, but instead we started walking and I missed Mummy and I cried a little bit, but not because I was scared.”

Harry pulled on her hair and then laughed and said, “Of course not. You’re just like your mummy. She was never scared of anything, either.” He stood up and said to Ingrid, “Ingrid, do you mind taking Alice upstairs? She looks like she could use a bath.” Ingrid stood up and took Alice’s hand. Harry leaned down, kissed her cheek and said, “Thank you for telling me everything, Alice. I doubt I would have gotten the full story from this lot here.” He pointed his thumb toward the adults in the room.

“Yes, they confuse me sometimes, too,” Alice said. Harry laughed loudly at that insightful bit of wisdom.

“From the mouths of babes,” he said as she left the room with Ingrid. He walked over to the chair and looked down at Kevin. “You kidnapped Alice?”

“The better thing for you to ask is whether or not I’m being held here against my will, Potter!” Kevin spouted.

Draco flipped his finger hard on the man’s forehead and said, “I must insist that you stop being rude to my company, even if it is Potter! Now, answer his question!”

“Well?” Harry said.

“How can you kidnap your own child?” he asked back.

Draco pointed his wand at the man and hissed, “Whose child is she?”

Harry pulled his wand out quickly and pointed it at Draco. “No, Malfoy! Go sit down before I arrest you!” Draco stormed over to sit next to Hermione on the couch.

He crossed his legs and arms and said to Hermione, “I just took up for your git of a best friend and he pointed a wand at me!”

Hermione patted his arm and smiled sweetly. “I know, Draco. I know.”

Lucius stayed by Kevin’s side, his wand still pointed at the younger man. Harry was very aware of that fact. He looked toward the man in the chair and said, “Hermione is her mother, and as you’ve always known, and as I now suspect everyone here knows, she’s Malfoy’s child. Hermione already told me that you signed away all rights to her, so if you took her without their consent today, that is kidnapping, and by God, I will arrest you.”

“She was all by herself when I saw her on the hillside, Potter,” Kevin said, leaning forward in his chair. “Who in the hell knows where Hermione and the pureblood prince were. I merely took her into town, because I wasn’t even sure where her mother was staying. I had no idea she was staying here with Malfoy, until Alice told me.”

“BOLLOCKS!” Draco shouted from his place on the sofa.

Harry turned to Hermione and said, “How long was Alice missing?”

“The worst two hours of my life,” she said. “And before you ask why we didn’t call you and the Aurors right away, it’s because after the first twenty minutes, we were fairly certain it was Kevin who took her. One of the servants found out that a man matching Kevin’s description was asking how to get to Whitehall from the train station. In addition, Ingrid told us that he’s been sending Alice Owls and he sent her this strange birthday present that changed forms, and he did it all to extract more money from me.”

“You still should have called me,” Harry said.

“Why, Potter?” Draco asked, standing from the sofa. “Just because you saved the world, doesn’t mean I need you to save my daughter. After we figured it was this lowlife here, we knew he would contact us with either ransom demands or some other form of extortion, so we decided to wait. We didn’t have to wait long. He ended up walking up our drive, and knocking on the bloody front door.”

Kevin stood from his chair and said, “EXACTLY! Does that sound like the actions of a kidnapper? I spent a couple of hours with my daughter, and I was returning her, case closed! You can’t kidnap your own child!””

Narcissa stood up and sent a sting hex toward the man, right between his legs. He screamed like a little girl and fell back in his chair, holding his hands between his legs. The other three men in the room winced in empathy. Lucius said, “I think that’s my ex-wife’s way of telling you to be quiet.”

“Don’t speak for me, Lucius!” Narcissa huffed. “It was my way of telling this lower life form that he was never to refer to my granddaughter as his daughter, or I will make sure he will never appreciate the finer art of making love to a woman ever again.”

“Well done, Mother,” Draco said, applauding.

Hermione smiled at Draco and said, “Really, that was a good one. I was this close to doing that to him myself.” She leaned toward him and smiled.

“How close?” Draco asked, with a smirk. He leaned over toward her and smiled back.

“This close,” she said, leaning closer still and then kissing his lips.

“PLEASE!” Harry said.

“My sentiments exactly,” Kevin said, standing again. “They make me sick, too, Potter!”

“I don’t give a shite what you think, McKenzie, so sit back down before I knock you down.” Harry pointed his wand at Kevin and ‘zapped’ him a quick stinging hex, too. Kevin fell back into his chair.

“HA!” Draco barked from the couch. “The Boy Who Lived just threatened to kick your arse, McKenzie!”

“You shut up, too, Malfoy,” Harry said.

“Better watch yelling at him, Harry,” Hermione smiled. “His mother might hex your balls.”

“I’m through with all of this!” Harry said, raising his hands in the air. He looked at Hermione. “What do you want me to do? Do you want to press charges?”

“He probably won’t ever leave us alone, Harry,” she said, standing. She walked up to Harry and took his hand. “I don’t know what to do. I just want some peace and happiness. Don’t I deserve that? Don’t I deserve a happy life and a good marriage?”

“NO!” Kevin shouted from his chair in the corner. “You don’t deserve anything, Hermione! You have this ‘poor pitiful me’ act down pat, but what about me? You took everything from me! You took my daughter and my only source of income! I don’t care if you’re ever happy! The only thing you deserve is the pain and unhappiness that will come with your marriage to this pureblood bastard over there!”

Draco growled and stormed off the sofa where he sat, practically flew over the back of the sofa where his mother sat, and pounced on the man in the corner. Hermione and Narcissa both screamed. Lucius stood back, his hands in the air. Harry grabbed Draco around the waist, even as he began to pummel the other man with his bare fists.

Harry threw Draco to the ground and said, “Seriously, Malfoy! You’re a wizard, and you’re acting like a common Muggle. You should do something like this.” Harry turned back to Kevin and hexed him until he was unconscious. The man slipped to the floor.

Lucius prodded the man on the floor with the toe of his shoe and said, “Must you leave your trash on our floor, Potter?”

“No, I’ll take this trash with me, Lucius, just as Draco first suggested!” Harry shook his head, walked over to Hermione, kissed her cheek, then grabbed the unconscious man’s arm, and said, “Will your wards allow me to disapparate from inside?”

“No,” Draco said, standing up and brushing off his slacks.

“Then help me drag this arse outside so I can get the hell out of here,” Harry insisted. Draco took the man’s other arm and Harry and Draco pulled Kevin across the room, and outside the French doors to the patio beyond, banging his head on every piece of furniture that they could find on the way.

When they had him outside, Hermione leaned out the doors and said, “Harry, Draco and I are getting married in two weeks. Are you coming to the wedding?”

“I don’t think I would miss it for the world,” Harry said, incredulously. Draco dropped Kevin’s right arm as Harry dropped the left. The man’s head bounced on the stone ground of the patio. No one noticed. Harry walked over to the doorway, kissed Hermione’s cheek and said, “If you have any other trouble, call me. Don’t try to handle it on your own.”

Hermione kissed his cheek in return and said, “I don’t anticipate anymore trouble.”

Harry walked back over to Kevin, picked up his arm again, and said, “Maybe you should, after all, someone had to have told this wanker where to find you, and that you were getting married to that other wanker standing beside you, because he knew somehow. Words to think about, Hermione.”

He disapparated away, Kevin in his grasp. Hermione looked at Draco and said, “Harry’s right. Who do you suppose told Kevin that you and I were marrying, and where he could find us?”

Draco pulled Hermione into the room, slammed the door hard, looked at his parents who stood side by side, and then all three Malfoy’s said at the same time, “Phillipa.”

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