Content Harry Potter Trixie Belden Star Trek: TNG My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
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With a Little Help From My Friends


That was twenty years ago.

I once thought that I would be lucky to survive until some stupid action of my old husband managed to get him killed. My greatest hope was to prevent my son from dying alongside his idiot father.

Instead, I was presented — by that same idiot husband, mind you — with the chance to change my life forever, for the good. All because he and his associates had captured one Harry James Potter in hopes of torturing and then killing him.

Little did he know that he would be handing the means of his downfall to me.

My love for my second husband has only grown these past twenty years, and I understand the level of devotion that Hermione has for him. I may have been greatly unkind in referring to it as a psychosis, but in what small defence is permissible, even today I find things that surprise me about her, and this is after being married to her for twenty years. I myself have the same level of devotion to them both, now that I permit myself to believe that they will not abandon me.

Yes. I had thought that I had given myself completely to them, but Lucius had scarred me far worse than ever I could have thought. It was Andi who made me realise that when we were approaching the third anniversary of our marriage.

I do not remember the wording of her comments, for I was too stunned to journal them at the time that it happened, and then I was spending far too much time enjoying simply loving with all that I had.

My husband is brilliant, and in his way far more intelligent than Hermione or I will ever be. He looked at the wording of the Ancient and Noble House of Black’s bylaws and saw that it was impossible to change several of the oldest (and also most bigoted) bylaws. He took the case to both Gringott’s and the Wizengamot, pointing out that certain clauses were antithetical to the continued existence of the Black family. This led to rulings permitting ancient family bylaws to be changed. Harry worked them for all that they were worth. He brought in like-minded lawyers, and they went through the Potter, Black, Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin family bylaws and modernised them all. Draco, upon hearing of this, asked for a loan from Harry so that he could do the same for the Malfoy bylaws. Harry told him to borrow it from me, instead, and both of them laughed at the fact that the money that Draco’s father had bilked from so many was being used to turn the family into something that would make his head explode, were he still alive.

This led to a rather amusing series of incidents that were the final blow for the Dark aligned families. They felt that Draco had softened, and would therefore be easy to target in their attempts to wrest control of various things from him.

They could not have been further from the truth. Draco nearly literally flayed them, with the oh-so-Slytherin machinations he performed to humiliate and expose these people. When he was done with them, ridicule followed them in the streets. I leave it for his memoirs to describe the actions he took.

With the death of Lucius by his hands, Draco realised that he was the sole remaining Malfoy, and threw himself into studying what was required to properly run a family. Not what most people think of in regards to money for groceries and transportation and housing, but thinking of the fortunes of those to follow. He knew that his chances were slim to continue the line, but he wanted to have the chance. He lost that overweening pride of his and asked for advice from many sources — one of them being the Weasley patriarch and matriarch. The advice he was given made him aware of things he had never known (and I somehow suspect that Lucius might not have known either, since his own father died under ... suspicious circumstances).

He asked to borrow from me (again) that he might begin to invest in a burgeoning business. With both himself and Harry buying actual shares in the Weasley twins’ business, the two managed to make the shop become more than successful. They are apparently now the worldwide word in humorous materials. While the amount that he earned on his investment was still not the old Malfoy fortune, it was respectable.

That done — showing that he could properly support a family — he proceeded to approach the Weasley family for permission to court their daughter Ginevra, to see if she might be interested in him at all. Permission was granted, and he asked for permission from her to walk with her. It was an old pureblood custom that he found, and he was determined to prove to her that he was not after her merely for her quite pleasant figure. (I am married and happy, but I am not yet dead. As Hermione has said, "Where’s the harm in looking at the menu?")

While not a whirlwind romance, theirs was a beautiful one, and he actually called me one day, dazed. When we pried from him the reason, Harry patted him on the back. Ginevra had kissed him. Not a ‘my-goodness-you-have-tonsils-isn’t-it-warm-and-aren’t-we-overdressed’ type of kiss, but a simple one that said that she loves him. He was actually singing.

I actually cried when I overheard Harry say, "Now you know how I feel when I look at your mother."

I cried harder when Draco answered, "Yes I do, Dad."

On the day of their wedding — a beautiful day in August — I gave the new family a wedding present that truly startled them, and drove my son to happy tears for the only time I can ever remember. (Other than the birth of his children, I mean.) It wasn’t much, to be honest. He hadn’t been the only one investing, and I had done quite well for myself as well. My present was to give to the new couple a sum of money (and property) equal to what the Malfoy fortune had been at the time that Lucius had me transfer all the property and money to my own name. Since my own investing had been rather lucrative, I only gave them about a third of the money I had available. Their eight children have not wanted for anything, but neither have they been as spoiled as Draco was.

(In regards to children — I think that the rumours of Weasley fertility magic are not, in fact, rumours. Ginevra is currently pregnant with their ninth child, which prompted Draco to say happily, "Not bad for a guy with only half a ball, eh?" I responded by laughing and hugging him tightly. Hermione tried to apologise (again) for being the reason for his state, and he waved it off, saying, "I had to get kicked in the brains I was using at the time to wake up. You did me a favour, Hermione.")

Ronald Weasley, whom I did not know well during my brief tenure as a teacher, having had to leave Potions due to my ‘condition’, turned out to be just behind Hermione and me in his devotion to Harry. He was seen as something of a buffoon, and while he might have been one during part of his school career, he changed, although permitting the appearance to remain. He went on to become an Auror, and ended up on Harry’s personal bodyguard team — the team that guarded Harry, Hermione, and myself.

Given the fortunes available to myself and to Harry (and Hermione, once she started playing with some of her own money), Ron (as I finally learned to call him) was a very well paid man. No one got in to see us unless he or one of the people he trusted to guard us vetted that person. (I have long heard that phrasing, and always wondered what precisely it means. Where it came from, more precisely.) He ended up starting his own bodyguard company, and soon had international status. He also became wealthy in his own right, and was finally out from beneath the shadows of his older brothers and Harry.

The startling thing was who he ended up marrying. My old lover Angelique visited us quite often, and Harry grew to understand why I felt that she was beautiful (once giving her the compliment of an erection due to the particular style of swimwear she had on), but has never stopped saying that both Hermione and I have her ‘beat all hollow’, in his words. Angelique told me to live with the fact that my husband felt such about me.

Apparently, however, there were times when we were unavailable and she wished to get away from the stuffy old Parkinson Manor. With a dead husband and a disowned daughter, she was the only Parkinson. And she was lonely. Somewhere in their talks, where they both bared their souls, they found that they had fallen in love. Ron said nothing to her, knowing that she could not find him attractive, but he spoke to Harry. She spoke to me of her feelings, knowing that he could never truly love a woman old enough to be his mother. Needless to say, we openly broke the oaths we swore to them never to tell. Thank Merlin they hadn’t been magical oaths.

The man I seem to be avoiding in all this is my husband. The next meeting of the Wizengamot led to an interesting situation. He spoke once more, his fervour for the subject of the wizarding world coming through. He wanted the end of favouritism, an end to legalised bigotry, and a few other things. He spoke on the issue, and then we began to discuss who would become our next Minister for Magic.

I think he was the only one startled when his name was mentioned for the position.

By Amelia Bones, no less.

Percival quickly seconded the motion, and I asked for a moment’s recess to speak with him. I convinced him that his fervour had shown these people the way, and who better at the wheel than the one with the vision?

He spent his time in office working hard at making the dreams a reality and at making a good try for his school testing. He suffered a bit on the N.E.W.T. for Potions, but considering the fact that he had only two hours of sleep that morning after dealing with an international crisis, his O was considered quite an achievement.

Personally, my thought as to his greatest achievement is involved with turning me from a cold, repressed thing to a vibrant and happy woman. Draco was correct — even today I will find myself humming or dancing for no reason other than I am happy. I’ve even gone dancing in the rain with him and Hermione. Since we were both 1) sans brassieres, 2) in white blouses, and 3) at our most fertile time of the month, I think that it is no surprise that said dancing had delightful repercussions that I named Angelique and Hermione named Undine.

We have had a large family, and a beautiful one. Perhaps those rumours of Veela in the Black ancestry are true, for all of my children save Draco have been female and blonde. (Or some variation thereof.) All in all, that has been my best accomplishment, I believe. To give the man I love what he so wanted — a life and a family that he can adore.

Perhaps, just perhaps, Sirius, James and Lily will smile down upon me, knowing that I did my best.

My darling wife left this journal out, and when I read the last line so far, I couldn’t let it rest. She has failed to mention so many of her own achievements. That fortune she referred to — the one that she gave a third of to Draco — she used one half of the pre-Draco amount to begin a series of orphanages and schools. She, the one-time proponent of Pureblood philosophy, became the administrator of a series of schools designed to bring magic to the children earlier in life. These facilities were placed such that they were about as easy as possible for a Muggleborn student to reach, so that they could practise in safety during the summers.

She fought hard to become the ambassador between the magical and non-magical worlds. She became a Dame on her own merits due to her efforts to destroy bigotry.

She was there the day that a witch finally was able to publicly announce that she had won the James Randi Educational Foundation’s one million dollar prize for proving that not all magic was parlour tricks. (It was Hermione, by the way. Randi loved her methodical scientific mind, and immediately hired her on to help solve the problem of where these magical abilities might come from. When she proved that commuting from England was a minimal hassle, he was overjoyed.)

My wife Narcissa also fails to mention that she was instrumental in getting most of my proposals passed. She fought hard to change the very prejudices that she once espoused, and while we’re not finished with our mission by any means, we’ve already begun to see the changes in the students entering Hogwarts.

Yes, another thing she failed to say. She was rehired as the Potions Professor for a short time after the birth of our first child, until a permanent teacher could be found. Rather than let her go, she was asked if she might take Transfiguration when Professor McGonagall stepped into the position that Professor Dumbledore was vacating. Yeah, the Headmaster finally retired. To her surprise, she was offered the job of Deputy Headmistress. It would normally go to one of the more senior people at the school, but it was decided (and agreed upon) that new blood needed to come into the school’s administration. She and Minerva had some amazing fights over things, until Narcissa finally managed to get Minerva to think about the real reasons for fighting a change. If it came down to ‘But we’ve always done it the other way’, then it was likely time for a change. (I will admit, as an aside, that it does my heart good to see the male students sit down suddenly when the new Headmistress enters a room. I just use Hermione or Narcissa herself to hide my reaction.)

Narcissa has been a force to be reckoned with in the two worlds. That’s another thing she’s fought to change. Muggle sounds cute and quaint and more than a little backward and condescending. We’re working on finding a better term. We thought about Normals, but that runs the risk of wizards being thought of as something to fear or avoid, which doesn’t work well for combining the worlds. We’ve settled on Mundanes at the moment, but I know that I don’t personally like it, because it smacks of boring and meaningless to me. Maybe I’m just thinking too hard about the concept.

The important thing is that Narcissa knows that I wrote in her journal to point out that on that dark day when her soul no longer graces this beautiful blue marble we call Earth, Sirius and Mum and Dad will not be looking down on her and smiling. They will be welcoming her with open arms, and praising her for her life of wonder and accomplishment.

And if by some circumstance she does end up in Hell anyway, she can rest assured that it won’t be for long, because Hermione and I will storm the very gates of Hell to be with her. And I promise you that Sirius and Mum and Dad will be with us on that mission.

I am in awe that a woman so ... a woman who turned out to be one of two angels in disguise ... that either one of them could love me.

I can do no more than to return whatever meagre portion of that love to them.

Oh, my darling husband. He charmed the previous entry so that I can’t remove it. If I am worth loving — if I am an angel, as he claims, it is because a very sweet man loved me, despite so many reasons he should not. If I have, in fact, earned a place with Sirius and his parents, then it is due to his love, and that of Hermione.

They are my soul mates, my help-meets, my raisons-d’être. (I don’t care if that’s good French or not.) But most importantly, in all this, they are my friends.

And when the day is done, that is the very best thing of all.

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Author Notes:

And thus does the story end. It was a longer road than I intended, both in length and in time taken to get finished, but I'm happy with the final product.

Again, the battle scene in the previous chapter was written (mostly) by Aaran St. Vines. I recommend reading his stuff, also here at FFA.