A Marriage Most Convenient

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Chapter 31: Too Many People Doing Too Many Things Saying Too Many Things


Nobody can tell what I suffer! But it is always so. Those who do not complain are never pitied.” – Jane Austen


I don’t believe in running away from my problems. I believe in pretending that they don’t exist. Those are two very different things.” – Draco Malfoy.


I have to face my problems head on, deal with them as they come, and then relax later, when everything is set to rights. If a woman doesn’t take care of things herself, nothing would ever be set to rights.” – Hermione Granger.


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There was much confusion going on inside the Ministry of Magic on that Thursday afternoon. First, outside, in the hallway of Percy Weasley’s office of the Under Secretary of the Minister of Magic, Ginny Potter, eight months pregnant, with one son being held by one hand and the other son being held by the other, stood with Lavender Weasley, whose children were running up and down the hallway. The women and their children had shown up at the Ministry because they knew that all of the Malfoys were here today, for many different reasons, and that their husbands, Ron Weasley and Harry Potter, were helping them the best that they could, and therefore, their wives had come to show their support as well.


Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy were in the inner office of the Under Secretary, Percy Weasley, himself, signing affidavits and sworn written testimonials that they needed to get married right away, without the usual two-week waiting period. They were petitioning for a special license. Hermione had documentation with her confirming her former marriage, her divorce, and her child’s birth record. She also had proof that her former husband was not her child’s father. She also brought along a Healer from St. Mungo’s who was willing to perform an immediate magical test to prove that Draco Malfoy was said child’s birth father, so that they could get Alice a new birth certificate with his name on it.


Down the hallway, in another room, Lucius Malfoy and Narcissa Black Malfoy were giving testimony to several members of the Wizengamot that their divorce should be annulled, due to many reasons, the major one being that their original divorce was granted under duress right after Lucius was sent to prison after the second war. Lucius managed to call in all FOUR of his personal solicitors and lawyers, two of which argued that the divorce was never legal in the first place, due to this and that and the other, while the other two remained perfectly silent.


In another room, down another hallway, Harry Potter was breaking the news of Ingrid McKenzie’s death to her only son, Kevin. Kevin, who had recently been arrested and taken into custody for the possible kidnapping of Alice Granger, was in total shock. Harry told Kevin that Hermione would take care of all the funeral arrangements. Kevin didn’t care one way or the other. He merely wondered if his mother left him anything of importance.


In the Auror’s department, Ron Weasley was making funny faces at Alice Granger. She was sitting on his desk, holding her stuffed dragon and her book, and he was making funny faces at her, to which she was laughing with delight. Ginny Weasley Potter, eight months pregnant with a daughter, had come to be a witness to Hermione’s possible marriage, and she quickly deposited her two children with Ron as well. Soon, Ron was making faces at Alice, James, five years old, and Albus Severus, three years old. No sooner had he had all three of them laughing when his own wife, Lavender, brought their son Hugo, who was four, like Alice, and their daughter Rose, to join the fray.


Rose, who at eight years of age felt she was too old to join the younger children, went with her mother to find her Aunt Ginny. Ron, who felt slightly overwhelmed with a five year old, two four year olds and a three year old, took all four toddlers in tow and he went to find them some sweets.


Hermione and Draco got the special license to marry rather easily. Truth be known, it was partly because she was who she was, and his money was what it was. It also didn’t hurt that Harry asked the Minister to grant a special favour for him. Percy told them that the new birth certificate for Alice would take a bit longer, but they would get started on that as well. All that was left was for them to get their two witnesses, Ginny and Lavender, and for them all to go down to the Registrar’s office and have their ceremony, and then they would be husband and wife.


In turn, after only two hours of legal wrangling, Lucius and Narcissa were granted an audience with the Wizengamot to overturn their divorce, the same day as Phillipa’s audience before the same Wizengamot to overturn the will. Narcissa could barely contain her glee. Lucius, on the other hand, acted as haughty and aloof as ever, although on the inside, he was pleased as punch. He only hoped Phillipa would see their divorce overturned, and see all hopes for her son to inherit go out the window at the same time. Even if the dissolution of the divorce weren’t granted, Lucius would marry Cissy again. True, that might not save Draco’s inheritance if Phillipa won her case, and had the will overturned, but he would still have his wife. That was all that was important to him.


Also, with Draco and Hermione marrying by special license, they would be married before his thirtieth birthday, so if the will was not overturned, Phillipa still would lose.


Oh…how sweet it would be to throw all of this into Phillipa’s fat little face.


Hermione came running out of the hallway to find Alice before they wed, when she ran into Harry, accompanying Kevin back to his cell, instead. She stopped dead in her tracks; the smile vanished from her face.


“Hermione,” Kevin greeted, though he looked sad and solemn.


“Kevin, I’m so sorry about your mum,” she said.


“Yeah, well,” he responded. “Did she leave anything for me?”


Hermione felt like slapping him. She said, “Yes, she left you with the memory that she was a beautiful human being, inside and out, and that she loved you very much, even if you didn’t deserve it, even if you did abandon her, and even if you were ashamed of her, she still loved you.” Draco came out of Percy’s office and stood behind Hermione. His expression was cold and stern. “For goodness sakes, Kevin, the woman just died early this morning, but you know she didn’t have anything of value to leave you!”


Kevin looked from Hermione to Draco and said, “She died while under that man’s roof, so I hope you don’t think I’m paying for her funeral.”


“Kevin McKenzie I could slap you senseless right now!” Hermione seethed. “I will pay for everything, like always! I want nothing from you, ever again!”


“Why are you both here?” Kevin asked.


“If you must know, we came to get a special license, and we’re getting married in the Registrar’s office today, and we also came to get Draco’s name put on Alice’s birth certificate,” Hermione said.


Kevin started toward Hermione, but Harry took a hold of his arm. “You bitch!”


“What did you call me?” Hermione asked.


Draco folded his arms and glared. Harry was tempted to let go of the man, and let Hermione at him, but they were already drawing a small crowd. The elder Malfoys were walking down the hallway, behind his wife and Lavender Weasley, and down the other side of the long corridor was Ron, with all the children, holding hands.


“Let’s take this back in the ante room,” Harry begged, trying to defuse the situation.


“NO!” Hermione screeched. “I’ve had enough of this man! Don’t you ever call me another name as long as you live, you ungrateful rat! You didn’t deserve a mother as sweet and kind as Ingrid!”


“She was a pitiful excuse for a witch!” Kevin shouted. “She was a stupid squib, which is one step up from a Mudblood, which is what you are, Hermione! You are a filthy, rotten, Mudblood! You’re nothing but a cheap, no-good, whore, Mudblood, and you and your dirty, bastard, half-blood daughter deserve this former Death Eater here! Furthermore, I’m glad my mother’s dead, now I don’t have to be embarrassed by the sight of her, and I’m glad that Alice isn’t my daughter!”


The silence that followed Kevin’s outburst was palpable. Hermione was shaking in fury. Draco, beside her, placed a hand over her shoulders and he was fuming as well, but he tried to contain it, so he wouldn’t be arrested on his wedding day. Lucius Malfoy was trying to figure out how he could curse the man without the Aurors noticing. Ginny Weasley had already drawn out her wand, much to her husband’s horror and dismay.


But that was nothing compared to the cries of a little girl, down the hallway, which started so softly, that only those around her heard her. Then, Alice began to cry harder. She didn’t understand why everyone was yelling. She didn’t understand why her daddy Kevin called her Mummy that terrible word, ‘Mudblood’. She didn’t know why he would say that he was happy that Nanny was dead, and she didn’t know why he would say that he never loved her anyway, and that he was glad he wasn’t her daddy.


She turned her face, held tightly to Ron’s leg, and continued to cry. Every adult’s eyes went down the hall to the little girl. Ron bent down, picked her up, and said, “Shame on all of you.” He turned around and walked back down the hallway, with the little children all following him.


Kevin shouted, “Alice! I’m sorry sweetheart!”


Hermione also began to cry. She turned to Draco and said, “What a terrible day to get married.”


“I’m sorry, Hermione,” Kevin said. “I really am. I don’t know what else to say.”


“Say goodbye, you fucking buffoon,” Draco leered, holding Hermione’s face away from her former husband. Draco looked at Percy and said, “How much extra work and expense would it be to get Hermione’s marriage to this wanker annulled. He lied to her from day one. He had a vasectomy before they wed, even though the only reason she married him was to have children. He deceived her to marry her. That should be enough reason to annul their marriage.”


“We’d have to prove that, and that could take weeks, maybe even months,” Percy said. “It’s best to just go to the registrar’s office, like we planned, and have you two get married. You want to do it before Phillipa has her day with the Wizengamot, remember, and before your thirtieth birthday in June.”


Draco nodded, took Hermione’s hand and started back into Percy’s office. Harry pulled Kevin back down the hallway, to take him back to his cell. Lucius and Narcissa turned to go back into the conference room where they were meeting with their lawyers, when suddenly, Kevin said, “Wait.”


Everyone turned to face him. “Weasley, what if I sign something that says that I deceived her from the beginning, and that I only married her for her fame and money. Would she be able to get the marriage annulled quicker that way?”


“I could probably push the paper work through, but it would still be four to five days. You wouldn’t have a wedding today, but you could get married by the end of the week.” Percy turned to Hermione and Draco. “That would still mean your wedding would predate Phillipa’s meeting with the Wizengamot. You two don’t really want a quickie wedding here at the Ministry today, anyway, do you?”


Hermione looked at Draco and said, “If Kevin would do that for us, it would be better. My marriage to you would be my first and only marriage, and we could still get married at Whitehall. Also, it would give us time to plan Ingrid’s funeral. We could bury her the day after tomorrow, and marry this time next week.”


Draco pulled Hermione back into his arms, kissed her cheek and whispered in her ear, “I don’t trust the wanker, but okay.” He leaned away from Hermione, faced Kevin and said, “Do it now, McKenzie. Use Potter and my father as your witnesses.”


“One condition,” Kevin said.


“Fuck this, I knew it!” Draco shouted.


Lucius walked up to the men and said, “Hear him out, Son.”


“I want a chance to apologize to Alice,” Kevin said. “Please. I don’t want her to hate me forever. I don’t really regret being her father, even if it wasn’t for real, or for very long.”


An hour later, after his sworn testimony in front of Percy, with Harry and Lucius as witnesses, Kevin sat in the same little ante room, off Harry’s office, to wait for Alice. Harry brought her in, holding her hand. She held her dragon tightly. Harry held her book in his other hand. She looked up at Harry and said, “Don’t leave me, Uncle Harry.”

“Never, lovebug. I’ll be right here.” Harry sat down in a chair.


“Alice,” Kevin began. He stood from his chair, squatted down beside Alice, as she held onto the arm of Harry’s chair. “I know I said some bad things out in the hallway today. I’m sorry about that. I didn’t mean any of them.”


“You called Mummy a bad word,” Alice pointed out.


“A very bad word and I don’t want you ever to say that word, right?” Kevin said, smiling.


“You said you were glad Nanny was dead, and that you were glad you weren’t my daddy, well, I’m sad Nanny is dead, and Draco Malfoy is now my daddy,” she told him. Harry almost felt like smirking, if it wasn’t such a Draco Malfoy thing to do. He added a little, ‘so there’ in his mind, though.


“I’m sorry I said those things, Sweetie,” Kevin said. He stood back up and went over to his chair to sit back down. “I didn’t always get along with my mother. She was older when she had me, so she was often tired and sick and she couldn’t always do things with me growing up, and I resented that fact. She was also something called a squib. Do you know what that is?”


“She couldn’t do magic?” Alice asked.


Kevin nodded. “Right and my father was something called a pureblood, and so was all of her family, so by rights, even though my mother was a squib, I was a pureblood, so I guess I was embarrassed by the fact that she couldn’t do magic. She wasn’t the mummy I wanted to have, you could say.”


“She was the best Nanny I could ever have,” Alice said simply.


“I know, and that’s great, really, it is. I’m happy that she had you and Hermione. At least she had some family near the end. She was very lonely after my father died, and she didn’t have any other kids but me, so at least she had you two. I should be happy about that.”


“Yes you should,” Alice said.


Harry had to laugh aloud at that one.


Kevin even smiled. He said, “I’m going away for a while.”


“Back to Canada and to Lauren?” Alice asked.


“Well, no, I think I’ll be in a place called jail for a while,” Kevin said, with a sigh. “After that, they will without a doubt send me back to Canada. I may never see you again, Alice, but I want you to know that I really do love you, even though I said that mean thing about being glad I wasn’t your daddy.”


“It’s okay, because Draco is my real daddy anyway, and he’s turning out to be really good one,” Alice explained.


Kevin gave her a small smile and said, “Okay, good.”


“You asked Mummy if Nanny left you anything,” Alice stated. “She left me something. She left me a book. Do you want it?” She reached over, took the book from Harry’s hand, and handed it to Kevin.


“Oh yes, my mother used to read from this and ‘Alice in Wonderland’ when I was young. You were named after the main character. Hermione let my mother name you. No, you keep the book, sweetie. Nanny wanted you to have it. Well, I’m sure I have to go, don’t I, Potter?” Kevin looked at Harry, beseechingly.


Harry nodded and said, “Yes, you do.” Harry grabbed Alice by the waist, pulled her to him and said, “Tell Kevin goodbye and I’ll take you back down to Ron. Your Mummy and the rest of the Malfoys have some more things to see to before you all leave the Ministry, and then you’re all coming to my house for supper tonight.”


She nodded. She walked over to Kevin’s chair and said, “Bye, Daddy. I love you.” She started to cry again.


Kevin couldn’t help himself. He started to cry, too. He hugged the little girl as hard as he could, kissed her cheek, and said, “Be good, Alice. Remember that Nanny loved you, and remember that I was once your Daddy, too.”


Harry picked Alice up in one arm, held her things with his other, and he left the room. He told the Auror outside not to let anyone else leave or enter the room. Then he walked down the hallway, Alice in his arms, toward Ron’s office.


Alice said, “Uncle Harry, do you think everything will be okay with my mummy and me?”


“Yes, I do, so don’t worry,” he said.


“Do you think mummy will be happy?” she asked.


“Yes, I do,” he answered.


“Will I be happy?” she asked. She started to cry again. It broke his heart.


Harry stopped walking and looked at the face of the little girl in his arms. “Aren’t you happy now, Alice? You should be. You have many people who love you.” He continued walking.


He said in Alice’s ear, “Hey, Sweet Alice, did you know that I didn’t even know my mummy and daddy growing up, and that until age eleven I lived in a cupboard under a some stairs?”


Alice popped her head up from Harry’s shoulder, wiped her nose with her finger, dried her snotty finger on Harry’s jacket, which he didn’t mind, and said, “Was it a big cupboard?”


“No, it was tiny, right under the stairs. I lived with my horrible cousin Dudley, my mean Aunt Petunia and my fat Uncle Vernon. Someday, I’ll tell you my story, and it will make your family seem like the happiest family on earth!”


“Maybe your story would make a good kid’s book, like ‘Alice in Wonderland’, Uncle Harry,” Alice proposed.


He set her down on her feet outside Ron’s office, kissed the top of her head, handed her the book and dragon and said, “Sweetheart, I have a feeling my story would fill several novels, but I hardly think they would be a children’s story. Go in with Ron, and when your mummy and daddy are done, we’ll go to my house.” He patted her behind, watched her go up to Ron’s desk, and closed the door behind her.

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